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What should be historically correct costume of Doctor Faust corresponding to the epoch, described by Goethe?

I encontered with several pictures of Faust in the Internet, but they differ very much.

For example, in this depiction from a German film he looks much as a medieval wizard rather than a university professor (and reads a book about folk medicine).

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While in this depiction he appears in a more modern suite:

enter image description here

What costume more accurately corresponds to the epoch and his occupation?

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Could you please clarify what you are asking? –  American Luke Dec 1 '12 at 15:26
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Please don't just post pictures you find from the internet, you must reference their sources appropriately. –  Yannis Rizos Dec 1 '12 at 18:11
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1 Answer

The reason you find wildly varied depictions of Faust is because there are quite a few versions of the Faustian legend, Goethe's being fairly recent. Here's a brief and incomplete list:

Artistic depictions of the character may be based on any of the countless versions of the legend. And of course as with any fictional character some artistic license can be assumed, you can't really expect complete historical accuracy in art.

If you are interested in Goethe's version and assuming Goethe followed contemporary fashion in his works, you'll need to research German fashion in the late 18th and early 19th centuries. This image, from the Wikipedia article on 1795–1820 in fashion, shows a German gentleman in 1815:

enter image description here

Goethe's inspirations for the play included Jacob Bidermann's (1578 – 1627) Legend of the Doctor of Paris, and that may also be a timeframe you'd be interested in looking at. However, since Goethe doesn't mention the exact timeframe Faust takes place in, we can only speculate.

The "medieval wizard" image is quite common, and it's probably in reference to Johann Georg Faust (c. 1480 – c. 1540), an alchemist, astrologer and magician, the suggested real person behind the legend. Your second picture is actually a 17th century portrait of him.

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Why do you think that Goethe's version is based in 18th-19th century? From the text it is quite evident that the setting is from much earlier time. –  Anixx Dec 1 '12 at 18:36
    
@Anixx I'm not saying that Goethe's version is based 18th-19th century, just that it was written then. Unless you give me an exact timeline of the setting, I can't really speculate what timeframe Goethe had in mind. –  Yannis Rizos Dec 1 '12 at 18:42
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