Gottlieb Wilhelm Bischoff (1797–1854), professor in Heidelberg, who originally intended to become a painter. Apart from his occupation as a botanist he created paintings of high artistic value, for example for Carl Philipp Martius’ (1794–1862) writing ‘Nova genera et species plantarum, quas in itinere per Brasiliam’ (15).
Without doubt the most important painter originating from the profession of a pharmacist was
Carl Spitzweg (1808–1885).
Spitzweg was born as the son of the merchant and member of parliament, Simon Spitzweg (1776–1828), in Munich. After Latin School he started his apprenticeship in 1825 in the ‘City Pharmacy’ (‘Stadt-Apotheke’) in Erding and continued in the ‘Court Pharmacy’ (‘Hof-Apotheke’) in Munich. This pharmacy was run by Franz Xaver Pettenkofer (1783–1850), uncle and teacher of the famous hygienist Max von Pettenkofer (1818–1901). It was here that Carl Spitzweg started to draw interesting customers for his personal joy beside his studies of practical pharmacy. Some of these pictures – or rather drafts – still exist today. After the death of his father in 1828, he worked as an assistant in the ‘Lower City Pharmacy’ (‘Untere Stadt-Apotheke’) in Straubing until 1830. There he gained insights into the small-town ambience that Spitzweg illustrated with this superior big-city-humour of his later works. After his practical training, he studied pharmacy for two years at the University of Munich (19) with the professor and pharmacist Johann Andreas Buchner (1783–1852), Johann Bartholomäus Trommsdorff’s probably most important student. Buchner discovered Salicin, an active ingredient of the willow tree, serving as an anti-inflammatory drug and pain killer at that time, he discovered the alkaloid Berberine, edited the pharmaceutical journal ‘Repertory for the Pharmacy’ (‘Repertorium für die Pharmazie’) and he wrote the multi-volume opus ‘Complete Epitome of Pharmacy’ (‘Vollständiger Inbegriff der Pharmacie’). Like his teacher Trommsdorff, he substantially participated in the transformation of pharmacy from craft to science (20).
Spitzweg passed his pharmaceutical exam in 1832 with distinction, which can be traced back to Buchner’s influence. Afterwards he journeyed across Italy. Back to Munich, he fell ill with a nervous fever which annihilated his original plans. Instead of moving to Switzerland as a pharmacist’s assistant – as many Bavarian pharmacists did before buying their own pharmacy with their heritage – Spitzweg went to the health resort in Sulz, Peißenberg in 1833. There it was common that the bathers were employed in producing little pencil drawings, in presenting them to other guests in the evening. Spitzweg’s drawings were a sensation. The artistically inclined head of the institution, Dr. Zeus, and the landscapist Christian Heinrich Hansonn (1791–1863) advised him to become a painter. Finally, he resolved to give up the pharmacist profession, he conducted natural studies. He avoided attending the Academy of Arts in Munich and prevented his pictures from being shaped by the academic pathos of the Munich school of thought of that time. In 1839 he dared go public and exhibit his picture ‘The Poor Poet’ (‘Der arme Poet’) in the ‘Munic Art Association’ (‘Münchner Kunstverein’) – a picture that counts to Spitzweg’s most famous ones. Yet, his picture failed what caused severe trouble to his self-confidence. In his studio at the ‘Heumarkt’ in Munich, high above the narrow streets, Carl Spitzweg created the idyllic world that was characteristic of himself. He tried new colour combinations and contrasted them to fine drawings and surfaces. In the 1860s the long-awaited success finally emerged (19, 21).
Spitzweg has now and again picked up pharmaceutical subjects in his paintings. In addition to the little drawings just mentioned the two pictures ‘The Alchemist’ (‘Der Alchimist’) and ‘The Provisor Fallen in Love’ (‘Der verliebte Provisor’) are of importance. In other pictures ‘Stork Pharmacies’ (‘Storchen-Apotheken’) occur. Spitzweg was capable of establishing the pharmacist as a prominent motif in the Biedermeier period (21).
Caspar Neumann (1683–1737)
from Berlin, the son of a musician and interested in music since early childhood. He was said to have made music together with King Frederic I of Prussia when Neumann was working as an assistant in the ‘Court Pharmacy’ (‘Hof-Apotheke’) in Berlin. It was reported that Neumann played the harpsichord while the king sang chorals. It was also because of his musical talent that the king promoted Neumann. He approved of Neumann’s educational journeys to various court pharmacies in 1711 and to Hermann Boerhaave (1668–1738) in Leiden as well as to Utrecht, Amsterdam and London, where he could extend his chemical-pharmaceutical knowledge considerably. In 1719, Neumann took over the ‘Court Pharmacy’. Since 1725, first-class pharmacists received a chemical training and lectures by Neumann there, so that they count as the first scientifically skilled pharmacists in Prussia, alongside second-class pharmacists who just received a practical manual training. Neumann was the author of some chemical-pharmaceutical writings, dealing with botanic analyses in particular. He examined thymol, ambergris, benzoic acid, cinnamic acid as well as tea, wine, coffee and beer (22).
A song which became extremely popular in Germany was ‘Hoch auf demgelben Wagen’ (‘High on the Yellow Carriage’) which was composed by the pharmacist
Heinz Höhne (1892–1968)
from Berlin. He was born in Pasewalk, started his apprenticeship in Graudenz in 1912 and continued in Putbus on the island of Rügen and in Magdeburg. He had to interrupt his training during World War I. and finished it in 1920. Afterwards, he studied pharmacy in Berlin and worked in the ‘Eagle Pharmacy’ (‘Adler-Apotheke’) in Berlin-Pankow from 1923 on, which he bought in 1936. After its socialisation in 1946 Höhne was an employee in a pharmacy in Zepernick. He retired in 1965. He composed his first songs at the age of twelve, he attended composing lessons. On behalf of the ‘Wilhelm Busch Society’ he wrote songs based on Busch verses; and he composed string quartets and orchestral works (22).
The pharmacist Günther Baumgarten (1906–1989)
was attended to making music and to composing in his leisure time alongside his position in the pharmaceutical industry at Johannes Bürger’s Ysat factory in Wernigerode (in the Harz Mountains). Baumgarten grew up in Magdeburg and visited the local Gymnasium that he left with the German Abitur in 1925. He received his pharmaceutical training in the ‘City Pharmacy’ (‘Stadt-Apotheke’) in Coswig and began to study pharmacy in Berlin in 1928. Subsequently, he began his studies of chemistry. In 1933 he received his doctorate degree in pharmaceutical chemistry. In collaboration with Carl Mannich (1877–1947), he developed a determination method for Morphine. In the Ysat factory, he participated in the development of cardiovascular preparations. He composed songs and chamber music including a string quartet and orchestral works (22).
Finally, many pharmacists left their jobs in favour of a full-time musical employment like the professor and organ teacher at the Conservatory of Music in Leipzig,
Paul Homeyer (1853–1908),
the Wagner singer Wilhelm Sigler (1846–1919),
the tenor Hans Siewert (1872–1941)
and the baritone Karl Scheidemantel (1858–1923).
He worked at the Court Opera in Dresden and sang the premiere of Franz Liszt’s (1811–1886) ‘The Legend of St. Elisabeth’ (‘Die Legende von der heiligen Elisabeth’) in 1883 and the premiere of Richard Strauss’s (1864–1949) ‘The Knight of the Rose’ (‘Rosenkavalier’) in 1911 (22).