You are Faust

Goethe's Drama in the Arts

23 February29 July 2018

Experience a virtual walk through the entire exhibition here.

Since its publication in the early 19th century, the world’s most celebrated work in German literature has fascinated countless artists, challenging them to create their own interpretations on the theme. The exhibition presents over 150 paintings, works on paper, sculptures, photographs, music and films by artists from Europe and the US, like Eugène Delacroix (1798–1863), Charles Gounod (1818–1893), Max Beckmann (1884–1950), Martin Scorsese (born in 1942), Anselm Kiefer (born in 1945) and Robert Mapplethorpe (1946–1989). The innovatively staged show takes visitors on a journey through the play’s narrative as they accompany Faust on his relentless quest for the meaning and purpose of modern life.


Faust’s pact with the devil, his seduction of Margareta, his disastrous betrayal and self-oblivion in the wanton rites of Walpurgis Night, Margareta’s social ostracism, her despairing infanticide and tragic descent into madness: over the centuries, all these scenes have suffused European culture and inspired very different forms of engagement around the world. Each of the three protagonists has achieved enormous popularity in the arts: the flamboyant character of Mephisto, both fiendish seducer and quick-witted rogue, Faust the scholar, who – disillusioned by his futile search for supreme knowledge – allows himself to be enticed into a world of ecstasy, and the chaste and pious burger’s daughter, Margareta, who is lured by Faust to her doom.


The exhibition follows the plot of the drama, which is brought to life in outstanding artworks. In the process, Goethe’s protagonists expose society’s weaknesses, as topics like the cult of youth, egotism, manipulation, corruptibility and an insatiable need for gratification also dominate everyday life. The exhibition confronts the audience with the drama’s as yet unanswered issues; after all, Faust still resonates today.

In cooperation between the Kunsthalle Munich and the Marbach Weimar Wolfenbüttel Research Association, the exhibition was developed exclusively for the Kunsthalle with the generous support of the Klassik Stiftung Weimar. The presentation of the exhibition was conceptualised in collaboration with Philipp Fürhofer, set designer and artist.

Exhibition leaflet

Official hashtags of the exhibition:
#KunsthalleMuc #DubistFaust #YouareFaust

TV report by heute-journal on ZDF:


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