Cedars of Lebanon: Young Artist's Rosh Hashanah: Rome, 1821
We traveled day and night without interruption, changing horses frequently, and only after eight days came to a halt and went to bed, for the first time, at Florence; several days later we glimpsed St. Peter’s in Rome. My beloved parents imagined I was still in Florence, and I wanted to surprise them with a letter from Rome.
I had often been told that a painter must have been to Rome; but it was not any deep, genuine love of art that drove me there. Anyway, I knew only one person in this great city: a schoolmate and fellow artist, Christian Haag, no genius, but a friend and comrade very dear to me, and I was looking forward to finding him there. My thoughts were occupied en route with picturing his surprise over my arrival; . . . Lo, when we were already quite close to Rome, a carriage passed us by in which sat someone who called to us to stop, someone who had recognized our courier. This courier, also a friend of the traveler passing us, was not a little astonished to find that it was not he but I who was embraced. It was Haag himself. “Where to, my dear Haag?” “To Germany!” “Why?” “Because I haven’t the money to remain in Rome.” I offered to share my money with him, but could not persuade him to turn back. . . .
About the Author