Rembrandt As Educator
Wermod and Wermod Publishing Group, 2017 - 520 pages
First published in 1890, Rembrandt as Educator was a sensation. The title derives from Nietzsche's essay, 'Schopenhauer als Erzieher', and the text was a response to the consequences of German unification in 1871, when Prussia's political successes threatened to engulf Germany with its militarism, industrialisation, and rationalist tendencies in science and art. Marxists responded with economic projects based on the 'class struggle'. Idealists proposed a revolution through the renewal of German culture. Langbehn's work may be considered an early representative of the Conservative Revolution, since it sought to combat the downside of democratic culture at the turn of the century--established by parvenu cosmopolitan elites that promoted foreign, and especially French artistic fashions--with a return to the natural aristocratic ethos of Germany's strongest element. Langbehn's subtle and detailed analysis of the North German character aims at demonstrating its suitability to lead the newly formed German Reich, and to serve as a model for mankind in general. In this effort, Rembrandt symbolised for Langbehn the quintessential German spirit. Moreover, Langbehn's emphasis on the cultivation of the physique as a manifestation of the German's ethical personality found practical application in youth movements, such as the Wandervogel. This long-neglected, infamous, yet historically important work is now available in English for the first time, with footnotes, a comprehensive index, and a scholarly foreword placing it in its proper historical context.