About the work …
Schelling rejects the imitation theory of art in his Über das Verhältnis der bildenden Künste zu der Natur, Instead, he believes art reveals a "higher truth" than what is actual. Artistic activity, for Schelling is both an unconscious and a conscious creation of a product which synthesizes Self with nature. In other words, a work of art is the objectification of mental activity and consequently reflects the unity of unconscious and conscious, the identity of the real and the idea, and, of course, the objective and the subjective. This identification of subject and object is the essence or finite manifestation, symbolically realized, of the infinite Absolute, itself. Thus, the world of art may be seen as world of symbols, and artistic symbols are neither universal nor particular but, he argues, both at the same time. In the same vein, Schelling held that the Absolute is "indifferently" both real and ideal.
On what basis does Schelling reject the imitation theory of art?
What does Schelling mean by "the creative principle in the forms of things"?
Explain the reasoning leading to Schelling's conclusion that art represents what is actual in nature, but does not imitate the form of nature.
Characterize what Schelling means by the essence, idea, or the "indwelling sense of nature" in beautiful works of art.
Why does Schelling believe that the works of art are appreciated independently of time—in a kind of "eternal now"?
Explain what Schelling means by "character" in art.
Is the soul in nature an impersonal ego, according to Schelling? What does Schelling say about the soul of the artist?
Explain Schelling's evolution of gradation in art from mythology to sculpture and finally to painting in terms of grace and the forces of soul and nature.
Friedrich Wilhelm von Schelling. Über das Verhältnis der bildenden Künste zu der Natur. In J.E. Cabot. The German Classics. New York: German Publication Society. 1913.