Schinkel himself stays in opposition to Kant’s theory of knowledge and he moves
away, on the one hand, from accepting the existence of the thing in itself towards an
object of naturę existing in reality, and on the other hand, from two-phase cognition
of reality based on the senses and reason.
In Schinkeks understanding, dialectic synthesis of both eiements is (as in Schil-
ler^) — “beautiful soul”. For Schinkel the process of artistic creativity is a process
of experiencing naturę and then by means of “individual characters” and “classes”
the sublimation of “ideals” -— the highest form of manifestation of objects of na-
turę. This process is determined by the presupposition of the existence of universe,
the charaeteristics of which are: a law of necessity and freedom. The highest ideał
of naturę becomes a dialectical synthesis of necessity and freedom. The dialectics of
reason and senses — “beautiful soul” of an artist refers to that idea. Beautiful soul,
as reflected by a work of art, appears as a reflection of the idea of the universe and
its successiye degrees of perfection, presented by the ideals of objects, leads to the
highest, ideał synthesis of consciousness and existence.
Art, by means of the activity of an artisfs soul reveals the essence of naturę
and while sanctifying it, art becomes the highest form of religion. In a work of art
the “beautiful soul” recognizes and identifies itself with the Absolute. The original
opposition of a work of art and reality (naturę) is United in a “beautiful soul”. The
process of cristallization of a work of art, on the one hand, and the process of acti-
vity, on the other, aims for the purification of idea from substance. Both eiements:
ideał and substantial exist in consciousness and existence. Thus, the sanctifying of
naturę in art means the elimination of earthly matters and giving priority to the
ideał — an idea. Finally it enables the synthesis of pure consciousness (reason) and
pure unconsciousness (senses) and also through joining both eiements, to create
a homogeneous unity determined dialectically.
An idea resulting from such a synthesis appears to be beyond — historical and
everlasting. This is why only the things close to the idea can become objects of art,
The things, or rather their ideals (the finał results of sublimation) are situated close
to the Absolute — ideał — idea. Such things, in Schinkeks understanding, are among
others: Heaven and the examples of antiąue art. However, a reference to antiąue
art does not mean falling back upon history but falling upon naturę in its purest
Schinkeks theories raised on the basis of specific German phenomena; economic-
al, socio-political (constitution of the middle-class and its ideology) and intellect-
ual. This theory grew out of Kant’s; then considered as opposing this system; it
also took into account Fichte’s and Schelłing’s ideas and led to Hegeks dialectics.
The majority of eiements of Schinkeks theory confirm the links with the theories
of Fichte, Schiller and Schelling.
The most prominent one, is here the concept of the “beautiful soul” and acti-
vity as its main feature. Specific activization of a subject resembles the Fichtean
“Self”. The motif of a union between soul and naturę, as reflected in a work of art,
is characteristic of Fichte’s and Schelling’s concepts.
What distinguishes Schinkel from Hegel in their view of historical reality is
Schinkeks approach to development, which he sees as a sinusoid rather than a dia-
lectical progress leading towards perfection, as well as a very strong antihistoric
component and also the eiements of the “theory of catastrophies”. Significant, in
Schinkeks theory, is a postulate about the possibility of leading a society towards
perfection by means of art. It is connected with the antirevolutionary trend within
German middle-class ideology. The other element is the postulate of freedom and