Helmut Schlaiß
  • Introduction

  • Bio

Goethe’s celebrated travel diary from his trip to Italy in 1788 continues to be a source of inspiration today. What the poet saw and described then, still fascinates travelers today. The photographer Helmut Schlaiß embarked on an extensive photographic quest in his classic vintage Renault. For two years he followed the famous poet's itinerary, searching for what Goethe once captured in drawings and texts - idyllic places, renowned architecture, typical landscapes. Goethe may have seen and described the world in color, but Schlaiß immortalizes it enchantingly in his black-and-white photographs. He did not intend to create a replica, but rather sought ways to artistically sensualize a journey with all its special places and stations. With this approach, what Goethe saw more than 230 years ago can be experienced as living, breathing culture. The 2,000-year-old history of ancient Italy inspired Goethe and Schlaiß alike, and it will inspire you too.
Helmut Schlaiß worked in fashion and product photography for many years before he started to produce his own projects as a photo artist. His works often reflect the grandeur and beauty of nature. He became fascinated by this topic early in life while growing up at the foot of the Swabian Alps, where he discovered his passion for photography. His images of the Lone Valley, one of the most important geotopes in Germany, have been awarded by the EU. His work also includes elaborate photo reportages, for which he travels throughout Europe. At 60, Schlaiß experienced a creative crisis and, like Goethe, decided to travel to Italy to seek new energy and find new sources of inspiration. In the process, he developed the idea to photographically capture the impressions of the great poet. The resulting photo reportage was then published by Manesse Verlag in a gorgeous volume and has since been exhibited several times.
1953 Born in Langenau
Active photographer since 1984
Lives and works in Langenau

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