German Romanticism

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Caspar David Friedrich, (1774-1840)
Moonrise by the Sea, 1822, 55x71 cm Caspar David Friedrich - Mondaufgang am Meer - Google Art Project.jpg
Caspar David Friedrich, (1774–1840)
Moonrise by the Sea, 1822, 55x71 cm

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. [1] 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). [2]

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. [3] 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. [3]

Literary and philosophical figures

Angelica Kauffman, Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, 1787 Der junge Goethe, gemalt von Angelica Kauffmann 1787.JPG
Angelica Kauffman, Johann Wolfgang von Goethe , 1787
Moritz Daniel Oppenheim Heinrich Heine, 1831, Kunsthalle Hamburg Heinrich Heine-Oppenheim.jpg
Moritz Daniel Oppenheim Heinrich Heine , 1831, Kunsthalle Hamburg
Joseph von Eichendorff Joseph von Eichendorff.jpg
Joseph von Eichendorff

Key figures of German romanticism include:


Richard Wagner, 1860 Richard Wagner, Paris, 1861.jpg
Richard Wagner, 1860

Visual artists

Philipp Otto Runge, Self Portrait, 1802-1803, Kunsthalle, Hamburg Philipp Otto Runge 005.jpg
Philipp Otto Runge, Self Portrait, 1802–1803, Kunsthalle, Hamburg


Karl Friedrich Schinkel. Project for church in Oranienburger Vorstadt, Berlin Entwurf Kirchen Oranienburger Vorstadt III Perspektive.jpg
Karl Friedrich Schinkel. Project for church in Oranienburger Vorstadt, Berlin

See also

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  1. Beiser, ix
  2. Beiser, 7
  3. 1 2 "German literature – Encyclopædia Britannica". 2012-12-07. Retrieved 2014-01-13.

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