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Linhart Anton Tomaž

Linhart  Anton Tomaž (1756—1795)

Anton Tomaž Linhart was born in Radovljica, in Gorenjska, into an artisan family. His father was Czech and his mother Slovene. He attended the grammar school in Ljubljana, entered Stična monastery to become a monk, but left after two years. After completing his studies in Vienna, he first became archivist for the Ljubljana bishop, with whom be became at cross purposes, and then served as an official, and later as schools supervisor, and finally as secretary to the provincial government. This promotion testifies to his all round talents.
He first wrote German verse. He became committed to the efforts of the Slovene Enlightenment after meeting Zois, Vodnik and other members of the Enlightenment movement. His description in German of the Slovene lands, above all the landscape of Carnolia as their core, and Ljubljana in the centre, is celebrated. He showed himself in this history, unfortunately unfinished, to be a critical thinker of sober judgement, who espoused the ideas of the times.

The birth of Slovene theatre is linked to Linhart's name. In the same year as the French revolution broke out in Paris, the first words of Carnolian comedians resounded from a theatre stage - in Ljubljana, where they performed his comedy, "Mayoress Micka" (1789), under his own direction. Reports which have been preserved testify that it achieved great success among the citizens.

"Mayoress Micka" was essentially a translation from the German. Linhart's comedy, "Happy day, or Little Mati marries" was a very much greater artistic achievement. The censors did not allow it to be performed for many years, although it was published in book form a year after the performance of "Mayoress Micka". Even "Little Mati" was created on a foreign, French, example, although it was much more than a translation. Linhart primarily adapted the comedy to Slovene circumstances, reduced the size of the cast, dropped individual scenes, added new ones and sharpened some of the advanced thinking so that it sounded quite revolutionary. The Slovene man of that time thus spoke through Little Mati.

Slovenia, 1995, Silhouettes and signature of Linhart

Yugoslavia, 1957, Anton Linhart

Slovenia, 1995.02.07, Lubljana. Anton Linhart


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