German Romanticism was the dominant intellectual movement of German-speaking countries in the late 18th and early 19th centuries, influencing philosophy, aesthetics, literature and criticism. Compared to English Romanticism, the German variety developed relatively early, and, in the opening years, coincided with Weimar Classicism (1772–1805). In contrast to the seriousness of English Romanticism, the German variety of Romanticism notably valued wit, humour, and beauty.
The early period, roughly 1797 to 1802, is referred to as Frühromantik or Jena Romanticism.The philosophers and writers central to the movement were Wilhelm Heinrich Wackenroder (1773–1798), Friedrich Wilhelm Joseph Schelling (1775–1854), Friedrich Schleiermacher (1768–1834), Karl Wilhelm Friedrich Schlegel (1772–1829), August Wilhelm Schlegel (1767–1845), Ludwig Tieck (1773–1853), and Friedrich von Hardenberg (Novalis) (1772–1801).
The early German romantics strove to create a new synthesis of art, philosophy, and science, by viewing the Middle Ages as a simpler period of integrated culture; however, the German romantics became aware of the tenuousness of the cultural unity they sought.Late-stage German Romanticism emphasized the tension between the daily world and the irrational and supernatural projections of creative genius. In particular, the critic Heinrich Heine criticized the tendency of the early German romantics to look to the medieval past for a model of unity in art and society.
Key figures of German romanticism include:
Johann Ludwig Tieck was a German poet, fiction writer, translator, and critic. He was one of the founding fathers of the Romantic movement in the late 18th and early 19th centuries.
August WilhelmSchlegel, usually cited as August Schlegel, was a German poet, translator and critic, and with his brother Friedrich Schlegel the leading influence within Jena Romanticism. His translations of Shakespeare turned the English dramatist's works into German classics. Schlegel was also the first professor of Sanskrit in Continental Europe and produced a translation of the Bhagavad Gita.
Karl Wilhelm FriedrichSchlegel, usually cited as Friedrich Schlegel, was a German poet, literary critic, philosopher, philologist and Indologist. With his older brother, August Wilhelm Schlegel, he was one of the main figures of the Jena romantics. He was a zealous promoter of the Romantic movement and inspired Samuel Taylor Coleridge, Adam Mickiewicz and Kazimierz Brodziński. The first to notice what became known as Grimm's law, Schlegel was a pioneer in Indo-European studies, comparative linguistics, and morphological typology. As a young man he was an atheist, a radical, and an individualist. In 1808, the same Schlegel converted to Catholicism. Two years later he was a diplomat and journalist in the service of the reactionary Clemens von Metternich, surrounded by monks and pious men of society.
Novalis was the pseudonym and pen name of Georg Philipp Friedrich Freiherr von Hardenberg, a poet, author, mystic, and philosopher of Early German Romanticism. Hardenberg's professional work and university background, namely his study of mineralogy and management of salt mines in Saxony, was often ignored by his contemporary readers. The first studies showing important relations between his literary and professional works started in the 1960s.
Carl Joachim Friedrich Ludwig von Arnim, better known as Achim von Arnim, was a German poet, novelist, and together with Clemens Brentano and Joseph von Eichendorff, a leading figure of German Romanticism.
The epithet Nazarene was adopted by a group of early 19th century German Romantic painters who aimed to revive honesty and spirituality in Christian art. The name Nazarene came from a term of derision used against them for their affectation of a biblical manner of clothing and hair style.
Naturphilosophie is a term used in English-language philosophy to identify a current in the philosophical tradition of German idealism, as applied to the study of nature in the earlier 19th century. German speakers use the clearer term Romantische Naturphilosophie, the philosophy of nature developed at the time of the founding of German Romanticism. It is particularly associated with the philosophical work of Friedrich Wilhelm Joseph von Schelling and Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel—though it has some clear precursors also. More particularly it is identified with some of the initial works of Schelling during the period 1797–9, in reaction to the views of Fichte, and subsequent developments from Schelling's position. Always controversial, some of Schelling's ideas in this direction are still considered of philosophical interest, even if the subsequent development of experimental natural science had a destructive impact on the credibility of the theories of his followers in Naturphilosophie.
The Neue Pinakothek is an art museum in Munich, Germany. Its focus is European Art of the 18th and 19th century and is one of the most important museums of art of the nineteenth century in the world. Together with the Alte Pinakothek and the Pinakothek der Moderne it is part of Munich's "Kunstareal".
Wilhelm Heinrich Wackenroder was a German jurist and writer. With Ludwig Tieck, he was a co-founder of German Romanticism.
August Ferdinand Bernhardi was a German linguist and writer.
The Athenaeum was a literary magazine established in 1798 by August Wilhelm and Karl Wilhelm Friedrich Schlegel. It is considered to be the founding publication of German Romanticism.
Christian Friedrich Tieck, often known only as Friedrich Tieck, was a German sculptor and a occasional artist in oils. His work was primarily figurative and includes both public statuary and private commissions for portrait busts.
Pauline Gotter was the second wife of Friedrich Wilhelm Schelling and a friend of Louise Seidler and Sylvie von Cigars.
A Musen-Almanach was a kind of literary annual, popular in Germany from 1770 into the mid-19th century. They were modelled on the Almanach des Muses published in Paris from 1765.
Jena Romanticism is the first phase of Romanticism in German literature represented by the work of a group centred in Jena from about 1798 to 1804. The movement is considered to have contributed to the development of German idealism in late modern philosophy.
The Beethoven Monument is a large bronze statue of Ludwig van Beethoven that stands on the Münsterplatz in Bonn, Beethoven's birthplace. It was unveiled on 12 August 1845, in honour of the 75th anniversary of the composer's birth.
Sophie Tieck, later known as Sophie Bernhardi or Sophie von Knorring, was a German Romantic writer and poet. Her role as a writer of the Romantic period was overshadowed by her brother Ludwig and her first husband. She was only really appreciated as an important writer when her letters were published in the 1960s. A plot twist in her brother's story Eckbert the Blond is an unattributed invention by Sophie Tieck.
Johann Diederich Gries was a German poet and socialite during the Romantic period. His extensive list of friends and acquaintances included Goethe and Schiller. Viewed through the prism of intervening years, his most enduring contribution is as a translator.
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