Early Romanticism and Its Origins in Germany
The Literary and Historical Museum known as the Romantikerhaus (House of the Romantics) is located in the house that was once owned by the philosopher Johann Gottlieb Fichte in Jena.
The permanent exhibition of the early Romantic Jena which is housed in the Romantikerhaus shows the cultural and intellectual background for the emergence of a younger generation of poets, literary critics, philosophers and scientists. What it reveals is under what conditions it was possible to develop in Jena 1785-1803 the most advanced intellectual center of Germany. The spiritual and cultural charisma of the city of Jena embodies an essential prerequisite for the work of the early Romantic period . Based on his publishing activities in Jena, the importance of Carl Friedrich Ernst From Mans, his circle of friends and the literary conditions in 1800, as well as the establishment of the " Athenaeum " in the city, is presented as a program guide of the early Romantic period.
The Museum also emphasizes the relationship between German Romanticism and the scientific revolution which followed. The exhibition shows the scientific commitment of the early Romantics and the complexity of Romantic thought about Nature and the natural sciences, and their connection to their social critique and conceptions of future discoveries yet to be made. This element of Futurism is explored in the Museum's galleries.
Jena's Central Market Square, looking up to the gabled houses and the Town Hall's tower, with the Monument to
Jena's Town Hall
View of the old city of Jena in the Goethezeit
Johann Gottlieb Fichte (1762 – 1814) was one of the founding figures of the philosophical movement known as German Idealism, which developed from the theoretical and ethical writings of Immanuel Kant in Königsberg. Fichte is often perceived as a figure whose philosophy forms a bridge between the ideas of Kant and those of Hegel.
Below, the photo shows the philosopher at the blackboard. He is considered here as a father of Romanticism because of his philosophy of the Ego. The Absolute Ego determines all that appears to be real, which is the Not-I, and hence there are no fetters to the Will.
Goethe on Tieck
Below, the interior of the Romantikerhaus: The portrait on the back wall, left of center, is that of Dorothea Schlegel, a most important member of the early Romantic movement.
Dorothea von Schlegel was born in 1764 in Berlin. She was the oldest daughter of the philosopher Moses Mendelssohn. In 1783, she married the merchant and banker Simon Veit. She met the poet and critic Friedrich Schlegel in the salon of her friend Henriette Herz, after which she left her husband. They were divorced in 1799. Dorothea obtained custody of her son, Philipp, and lived with him at the Ziegelstraße, which became a salon frequented by Tieck, Schelling, the Schlegel brothers, and Novalis. Schlegel's novel "Lucinde" (1799) was seen as an account of their affair, causing a scandal in German literary circles.
Friedrich Schlegel, together with his brother August Wilhelm, the founders of the Romantic Movement in Germany
August Wilhelm Schlegel
Busts of Dorothea, Friedrich and August Wilhelm Schlegel
The Tree of Liberty
Impressions of 'King Lear'
Fichte left Jena for Berlin in 1799. He had a difficult relationship with the Court of Weimar, and after weathering a couple of academic storms, he was finally dismissed from Jena in 1799 as a result of a charge of atheism. He was accused of atheism in 1798 after publishing his essay "Über den Grund unsers Glaubens an eine göttliche Weltregierung" (On the Ground of Our Belief in a Divine World-Governance), which he had written in response to Friedrich Karl Forberg's essay "Development of the Concept of Religion," in his Philosophical Journal. For Fichte, God should be conceived primarily in moral terms: "The living and efficaciously acting moral order is itself God. We require no other God, nor can we grasp any other." (On the Ground of Our Belief in a Divine World-Governance). He accepted an offer from the University of Berlin to teach philosophy there. With his departure the early period of German Romanticism came to an end. Hegel remained in Jena, then eventually replaced Fichte at the Chair of Philosophy in Berlin.