Lichtenberg, Georg Christoph

Lichtenberg, Georg Christoph

(gā`ôrkh krĭs`tôf lĭkh`tənbĕrk), 1742–99, German physicist and satirist. He taught at the Univ. of Göttingen, where his special field was electricity. Lichtenberg made several visits to England and was influenced by the satire of Swift and by the English theater. He satirized the pseudoscience of LavaterLavater, Johann Kaspar
, 1741–1801, Swiss theologian and mystic. He wrote several books on metaphysics, but he is chiefly remembered for his work on physiognomy, the art of determining character from facial characteristics.
..... Click the link for more information.
 and attacked the Sturm und DrangSturm und Drang
or Storm and Stress,
movement in German literature that flourished from c.1770 to c.1784. It takes its name from a play by F. M. von Klinger, Wirrwarr; oder, Sturm und Drang (1776).
..... Click the link for more information.
 writers. He also wrote witty commentaries on Hogarth's engravings.
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia™ Copyright © 2013, Columbia University Press. Licensed from Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.
The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Lichtenberg, Georg Christoph


Born July 1, 1742, in Ober-Ramstadt; died Feb. 24, 1799, in Göttingen. German writer, publicist, and scientist.

Lichtenberg graduated from the University of Göttingen, where he became a professor of physics in 1769. He researched the spark discharge at the interface between the solid dielectric and gas. In 1795 he was made an honorary member of the St. Petersburg Academy of Sciences. Lichtenberg wrote pamphlets opposing the physiological fabrications of Lavater and the excessive sentimentality of Sturm und Drang writers. The height of his Enlightenment satire was reached with Ample Commentary on the Engravings of Hogarth (1794–99) and Commentary on the Copper Engravings of Daniel Chodowiecki. In Aphorisms (1762–99; published 1902–08) he spoke out against serfdom and political fragmentation, hailed the French Revolution, and defended realist art.


Aphorismen, Essays, Briefe. Leipzig, 1963.
In Russian translation:
Aforizmy, 2nd ed. Foreword and concluding remarks by G. S. Slobodkin. Moscow, 1965.


Tronskaia, M. L. Nemetskaia satira epokhi Prosveshcheniia, ch. 5. Leningrad, 1962.
Promies, W. Georg Christoph Lichtenberg in Selbstzeugnissen und Bilddokumenten. Reinbek bei Hamburg, 1964.
The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
LICHTENBERG, GEORG CHRISTOPH [1956]: Uber eine neue Methode, die Natur und die Bewegung der elektrischen Materie zu erforschen.
LICHTENBERG, GEORG CHRISTOPH [1968-74]: Schriften und Briefe.