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August Kestner
Georg Christian August Kestner (28 November 1777 in Hanovermarker; 5 March 1853 in Romemarker) was a German diplomat and art collector.


Kestner was the son of civil servant Johann Christian Kestner and his wife Charlotte Buff. Johann Wolfgang von Goethe met and fell in love with Charlotte while she was engaged to Johann. Repeated rejections by Buff provided the youthful suffering that characterized Goethe's semi-autobiographical work Die Leiden des jungen Werthers (The Sorrows of Young Werther).

From 1796 to 1799 Kestner studied law at the University of Göttingenmarker and was immediately afterwards called up as a Vernehmungsrichter (interrogation judge) at the court in Hanovermarker.

In 1803 Kestner was appointed 'secret office-secretary in the civil service'. As such, he made his living from 1818 to 1849, among other things, as an official envoy and Minister-resident in Romemarker and Naplesmarker. Also he was a diplomat of Hanover to the Holy See in Romemarker. As an art lover, he gathered small objects from Egyptian as well as Greco-Roman art. He, Theodor Panofka and Otto Magnus von Stackelberg founded the "Instituto di Corrispondenza Archeologica" in 1829, later to become the German Archaeological Institutemarker, and was in 1838 entrusted with its direction as its secretary-general.

After his retirement from the civil service, Kestner lived in Rome until his death on 5 March 1853.

The Kestner-Museummarker in Hanover is named after him.


  • R√∂mische Studien (Berlin: Decker, 1850)
  • Sulla: ein Trauerspiel in 5 Aufz√ľgen (Hannover: Zahn, 1855)
  • √úber die Nachahmung in der Malerei (Frankfurt a.M., 1818)
  • Wem geh√∂rt die Kunst (1830)


  • Marie Jorns: August Kestner und seine Zeit. 1777-1853. Das gl√ľckliche Leben des Diplomaten, Kunstsammlers und M√§zens in Hannover und Rom. Aus Briefen und Tageb√ľchern zusammengestellt. Hannover: Madsack 1964.
  • 100 Jahre Kestner-Museum Hannover. 1889-1989. Hrsg. von Ulrich Gehrig. Hannover: Kestner-Museum 1989. ISBN 3-924029-14-8
  • Auf den Spuren von August Kestner. Katalog zur gleichnamigen Ausstellung, 6. M√§rz bis 20. Juli 2003, Kestner-Museum Hannover. Hannover: Kestner-Museum 2003. (Museum Kestnerianum. 5) ISBN 3-924029-33-4

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