New Romanticisms in Wilhelmine Germany

Mitchell B. Frank


This essay examines and connects two related issues in the literature on the history of art of the Wilhelmine Period: the canonical shift in German romantic painting from the Nazarenes to Phillip Otto Runge and Caspar David Friedrich; and the attempt to position the work of contemporary German artists (often called new idealists) as a new romanticism. At this time, art historians like Richard Muther and Cornelius Gurlitt take on a romantic sensibility in their attempts to position contemporary German art on the international scene. With the development of new idealism in German artwriting, two new romanticisms were thus founded. Modern German art (the work of Anselm Feuerbach, Hans von Marées, Arnold Böcklin, Max Klinger, and others) was claimed within a romantic tradition. And romantic painting was conceptualized anew with the focus increasingly on Friedrich and Runge, and less on the Nazarenes.


New Idealism; German Art Historiography; Richard Muther; Cornelius Gurlitt; Arnold Böcklin

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ISSN: 2246-2945  

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