The Originator of 19th Century Nursery Rhyme Poetry Jh.

Friedrich Wilhelm Güll was born in Ansbach [Bavaria] on 1 April 1812. After his professional trainining he worked as a teacher, first in his hometown and then, from 1842, at a Protestant parish school in Munich. As he had to support a big family, he also found himself forced to give private lessons. Thus, he taught the daughters of Prince Eduard von Sachsen-Altenburg and over the years numerous girls from other wealthy families. Even as a child, Güll drew inspiration from landscapes, nature and the animal world and integrated these impressions and motives in his poetic work. Pedagogic aptitude paired with poetic talent - this was attested to him by Gustav Schwab, whom Güll presented his poems and asked for an assessment.

In 1836, Güll’s works were published under the title Kinderheimath in Bildern und Liedern (Children’s Home in Pictures and Songs), including Das Büblein auf dem Eis (The Little Boy on the Ice) or Der erste Schnee (The First Snow), just like Winterrätsel based on the winter motive. Güll’s poems were always based on a cheerful, atmospheric tone that not only inspired composers to set them to music but also invited artists such as Franz Graf von Pocci to create vivid illustrations.

With his poems, riddles and sayings, Friedrich Wilhelm Güll became the originator of 19th century nursery rhyme poetry. He ranks among the most important representatives of the Biedermeier period.

Güll died in Munich on 24 December 1879.

Discover now his baptism entry:

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Bayern: Landeskirchliches Archiv der Evang.-Luth. Kirche > Dekanat Ansbach > Ansbach-St. Johannis > Taufen 1808-1817, Bild 218