The modernist aesthetic and, later, Nazi ideology split German Romantic painting into two opposed phases, an early progressive movement, represented by Caspar David Friedrich (1774-1840) and Philipp Otto Runge (1777-1810), and a later reactionary one - epitomized by Friedrich Overbeck (1789-1869) and Peter von Cornelius (1783-1867). In this rich and engaging book, Mitchell Frank explores the continuities between these two phases to reconstruct the historical position that existed in the nineteenth century and to look once again at the Nazarenes - and Overbeck in particular - as a fully integrated part of the Romantic movement. His innovative book is crucial to an understanding of German Romanticism and the legacy of this period in European art.
'the most scholarly and complete work on the Nazarenes in English to date …a rich, philosophically and historically informed account …an important rediscovery of a neglected chapter in the history of art' Lionel Gossman (Princeton University), author of Basel in the Age of Burckhardt.
Contents; Introduction, I. Themes of German Romantic Painting: Brotherhood; The Romantic Self; Role-Playing: Overbeck as the monk-srtist; Overbeck the independent man; Overbeck the monk-artist; Historicism; The Nazarenes’ view on imitation; The Nazarenes’ search for origins; Indirect Communication; Fredrich’s reflections on nature; Runge and the coherence of art; II. Romanticism Rewritten: The marginalization of the Nazarenes, The first histories of modern German painting; The Nazarenes and the critics, 1850-1900; From Overbeck and Cornelius to Friedrich and Runge, From nationalism to formalism, From formalism to racism, the reassessment of Goethe, The Nazarenes defended; Anti-Semitism and formalism, Conclusion, Index.