German Romanticism

Johann Wolfgang von Goethe Rhine Valley was an inspiration to painters and poets alike

Fairy tales and folksongs served as inspiration for Romanticism. Nature, love, supernatural phenomena, freedom and genius are important themes of Romantic literature.

The Schlegel brothers, Ludwig Tieck and Clemens Brentano set the tone.

Heinrich Heine's (1797 - 1856) rates among the more satirical and politically minded Romantic poets. Many of his 'Romantic' poems have been set to music and are now erroneously taken to be folksongs. His political poetry often sides with working class people and democratic ideals and finally leads to his involuntary emigration.

Brothers Grimm (1785 - 1863 and 1786 - 1859) followed the trend and set about collecting traditional folksongs and fairy tales. Thanks to their endeavours tales like 'Snow White', 'Rapunzel', 'Hansel and Gretel', 'Cinderella' or 'Rumpelskiltsin' have been preserved.