Johann Wolfgang von Goethe (28 August 1749 - 22 March 1832), commonly known as "Goethe", was a German poet, novelist, philosopher, and scientist who is considered one of the giants of the literary world. In addition, aside from being lawyer and known also as a dramatist, humanist, theorist, and painter, he is also one of few individuals considered to have been a polymath. For ten years, he was chief minister of state for the duchy of Weimar. In 1782 he was ennobled as 'von Goethe'. In his 1809 masterpiece Elective Affinities, he became one of the first to speculate on the nature of interpersonal chemistry.
Goethe was one of the key figures of German literature and the movement of Weimar Classicism in the late 18th and early 19th centuries; this movement coincides with Enlightenment, Sentimentality ("Empfindsamkeit"), Sturm und Drang, and Romanticism. The author of Faust and Theory of Colours, he influenced Darwin with his focus on plant morphology. Goethe's influence spread across Europe, and for the next century his works were a primary source of inspiration in music, drama, poetry, and philosophy. He is widely considered to be one of the most important thinkers in Western culture.