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Rudolf Steiner Archive Section Name Rudolf Steiner Archive & e.Lib

Physiognomical Studies

Rudolf Steiner Archive & e.Lib Document

Sketch of Rudolf Steiner lecturing at the East-West Conference in Vienna.

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Physiognomical Studies

Physiognomical Studies: Explanatory Comments by Marie Steiner

How did these caricatures come about?

These sketches were made as little jests, playful fun, in moments of relaxation, perhaps at teatime or after dinner, in connection with a casual conversation about some cultural aberrations of our time. They were lightly cast onto a blank piece of paper that happened to be within reach, or even onto a paper napkin.

A collector of such rarities, who had occasion to see these caricatures, had the idea of projecting them onto a screen. Thus enlarged, they impressed people who saw them so strongly and hilariously, that they expressed the wish to have them in their own portfolio, to take them home as a possible remedy for a time when feeling low. For one discovered in them the spark of genius that permeated everything that Rudolf Steiner spoke or that his hand shaped.

Various other hilarious things may still rest hidden somewhere, for our life-circumstances left little time for organizing things: frequent travels away from home, constant demands on our time, moving of our home — these made loving care for the little things of personal life hardly possible. But even merely these funny grotesques are proof of the artist's keen perceptivity and for his intuitive grasp of what is inwardly essential, even in its distortion. What is grasped at the soul level becomes instinctive sensitivity and passes playfully over into form. Like the “Gallows Songs” by Christian Morgenstern, they tell us that most profound earnestness can and should be combined with the most subtle humor. [http://www.alb-neckar-schwarzwald.de/morgenstern/morgenstern_poems.html]

Marie Steiner

Last Modified: 24-Apr-2021
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