Johann von Goethe, German author

Johann von Goethe, German author

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Credit: SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Johann Wolfgang von Goethe (1749-1832), German author and scientist. Goethe is most widely recognised as an author, his work 'Faust', written between 1808 and 1832, is lauded as one of the peaks of world literature. As an anatomist, he showed that the human jawbone contained structures similar to those in other creatures and proposed the skull to be formed of extended, fused vertebrae. His botanical study was published as 'Metamorphosis of Plants', in which he proposed that all plant structures were modified leaves. He was also an early evolutionist who believed that animals became more 'specialised' through the ages. Despite being one of the most influential authors and philosophers in history, Goethe expected he would be remembered most for his work on colour perception and phenomena.

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