Cherepanov Daniil

Art and the Transcendent in J. von Eichendorff ’s Works

Cherepanov Daniil (2014) "Art and the Transcendent in J. von Eichendorff ’s Works ", Vestnik Pravoslavnogo Sviato-Tikhonovskogo gumanitarnogo universiteta. Seriia III : Filologiia, 2014, vol. 37, pp. 74-81 (in Russian).

DOI of the paper: 10.15382/sturIII201437.74-81


The article deals with J. von Eichendorff’s concept of art and its difference from the views of Jena romantics. Special attention is given to the transformation of the religious world view peculiar to the Jena period, where the divine was typically understood as immanent. As Jena romantics discovered J. Boehme, they adopted his monistic approach, understanding the entire world as a manifestation of the Absolute. Art was therefore conceived as the appearance of the spiritual, i.e. of the divine. Thus the hero of L. Tiecks novellas «Der getreue Eckart und Der Tannenhäuser» (1799) and «Runenberg» (1804), even losing himself in the phantastic, always remains faithful to his artistic calling. Still seeing the world as a «hieroglyph», a symbol of the invisible, Eichendorff does not share these metaphysic ideas. His works represent another vision of the world, diff erentiating between transcendent God and immanent spiritual reality. The article suggests that this new notion of the spiritual is one of the reasons causing the emerging distinction between art and religion. Eichendorff’s early novel «Ahnung und Gegenwart» (1815) as well as his novellas «Die Zauberei im Herbste» (1808/1809) and «Das Marmorbild» (1818) are read in this context, showing a transformation of the romantic thought: for Eichendorff, too, poetry grants access to the spiritual world, making the artist sensible to the hidden beauty of nature. Transformed through poetic vision, nature indicates the existence of the transcendent, and may thus lead to God; but it also may fascinate the artist, captivating him in the realm of immanent. «Die Zauberei im Herbste» depicts an artist who is separated from the transcendent by «earthly images» («der Erde Bilder»); «Das Marmorbild» threats the danger of deifying spiritualized nature. A comparison with A. von Arnim’s novel «Armut, Reichtum, Schuld und Buße der Gräfi n Dolores» (1810), which had a strong influence on Eichendorff, further demonstrates the originality of the latter’s notion of art.


Romanticism, art, transcendent, God, Eichendorff, Boehme, Novalis, Tieck, Arnim.


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Cherepanov Daniil