1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Schack, Adolf Friedrich, Graf von

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SCHACK, ADOLF FRIEDRICH, Graf von (1815-1894), German poet and historian of literature, was born at Brüsewitz near Schwerin on the 2nd of August 1815. Having studied jurisprudence (1834-1838) at the universities of Bonn, Heidelberg and Berlin, he entered the Mecklenburg State service and was subsequently attached to the “Kammergericht” in Berlin. Tiring of official work, he resigned his appointment, and after travelling in Italy, Egypt and Spain, was attached to the court of the grand duke of Oldenburg, whom he accompanied on a journey to the East. On his return he entered the Oldenburg government service, and in 1849 was sent as envoy to Berlin. In 1852 he retired from his diplomatic post, resided for a while on his estates in Mecklenburg and then travelled in Spain, where he studied Moorish history. In 1855, he settled at Munich, where he was made member of the academy of sciences, and here collected a splendid gallery of pictures, containing masterpieces of Genelli, Feuerbach, Schwind, Böcklin, Lenbach, &c., and which, though bequeathed by him to the Emperor William II., still remains at Munich and is one of the noted galleries in that city. He died at Rome on the 14th of April 1894.

Schack was a most productive author; he wrote lyric poems (Gedichte, 1867, 6th ed. 1888); novels in verse, Durch alle Wetter (1870, 3rd ed. 1875) and Ebenbürtig (1876); the dramatic poem Helidor (1878); the tragedies Die Pisaner (1872) and Walpurga and Der Johanniter (1887); and the political comedies, Der Kaiserbote and Cancan (1873). As an historian of literatute and art, he published Geschichte der dramatischen Literatur und Kunst in Spanien (3 vols. 1845-1846, 2nd ed. 1854), Poesie und Kunst der Araber in Spanien und Sicilien (1865, 2nd ed. 1877), which are valuable contributions to literary history. He also produced some excellent translations, e.g. Spanisches Theater (1845); Heldensagen des Firdusi (1851) and Stimmen vom Ganges (1857, 2nd ed. 1877). He also compiled the catalogue and history of his own picture gallery, Meine Gemäldesammlung (7th ed., 1894). His collected works, Gesammelte Werke, were published in six volumes (1883, 3rd ed. in 10 vols. 1897-1899). Nachgelassene Dichtungen were edited by G. Winkler (1896).

See his autobiography, Ein halbes Jahrhundert, Erinnerungen und Aufzeichnungen (3 vols. 1887, 3rd ed. 1894). Cf. further the accounts of Schack by F. W. Rogge (1883), E. Zabel (1885), E. Brenning (1885), W. J. Mannsen (from the Dutch, 1889), and also L. Berg, Zwischen zwei Jahrhunderten (1896).