Artistic and cultural creativity can be enriched by anthroposophy, and a broad anthroposophical arts scene exists. Eurythmy/eurythmy therapy, speech formation and art therapy derive directly from Rudolf Steiner and Marie Steiner.
What is "anthroposphical arts"?
The arts are independent and free – and as such one cannot really speak of “anthroposophical art”. However, artistic and cultural creativity can be enriched by anthroposophy, and a broad anthroposophical arts scene exists. Eurythmy/eurythmy therapy, speech formation and art therapy derive directly from Rudolf Steiner and Marie Steiner.
Marie Steiner was a trained actress and reciter of poetry, while Rudolf Steiner did innovative work in the areas of sculpture, painting and architecture. His own stage productions such as the Mystery Dramas, the full-length Faust and countless eurythmy and dramatic performances also promoted a new preoccupation with music, giving rise to compositions specially created for these works. Engagement with the “true nature of music” still continues today, for instance in the areas of composition, education and music therapy. In addition, based on the study of the working of light and colour, a new stage lighting technique has developed.
While in ancient times, art focused mainly on the expression of biblical and religious contents, it obtained a unique character in Renaissance.
“Sing in me, Muse, and through me tell the story
of that man skilled in all ways of contending,
the wanderer, harried for years on end,
after he plundered the stronghold
on the proud height of Troy.”
These are the opening lines of Homer’s Odyssey who finds the origins of his poetry in the world of gods. In the age of the Enlightenment, this consciousness dwindled and was replaced by awarding the artist itself a copyright on his works.
At the beginning of the 20th century there was a return to the mental and spiritual aspects in arts. For the first time, the fundamental effects of colors, forms and sounds were perceived in their pure form. The various disciplines of performing arts developed. The idea of a ‘Gesamtkunstwerk’ (defined as a work of art that makes use of all or many art forms) as supported by Kandinsky and Schönberg was crucial for the founding of the Bauhaus movement.
This movement was not only related to, but in fact also inspired by the thoughts of anthroposophy. Evidence shows that artists like Kafka, Morgenstern, Kandinsky, Itten, Jawlensky have attended Rudolf Steiner’s lectures.
Rudolf Steiner and the arts
Many times, Steiner emphasized the role of arts in overcoming materialism. In order to clarify the opportunities he was himself artistically active. However, he continued to insist that artists should be the ones to implement his ideas and suggestion. Soon, artists congregated at his side who systematically tried to achieve this.
Together with Marie Steiner, Rudolf Steiner brought eurhythmy as a new art form into being.
Steiner was the first to express the idea that artistic work could have a healing effect on social conditions and to describe how arts could flow into pedagogy and therapy.
No exact definition of "anthroposophical arts"
Although nowadays art training centers with anthroposophical orientation exist, it is difficult to exactly define what ‘anthroposophical arts’ is. It is equally difficult to determine, if an artist has found to his work through Steiner’s inspiration or by himself. In the end, the source of inspiration is open to anybody and the paths that can be taken are many and overlapping.