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The Art of Colour and the Human Form

Seven Motif Sketches of Rudolf Steiner: Studies by Gerard Wagner

Rudolf Steiner and Gerard Wagner
Illustrated by Gerard Wagner
Edited by Peter Stebbing
Foreword by Peter Selg
March 2018
More details
  • Publisher
  • Published
    1st March 2018
  • ISBN 9783905919943
  • Pages 218 pp.
  • Size 8.5" x 11"
  • Images 163

“The human being is the most exalted, indeed the true subject of visual art.” — J. W. Goethe, Propylaea

“...when we speak of visual is above all a matter of understanding how everything in the visual arts ultimately aims at, proceeds from, and creates out of the human form. — Rudolf Steiner, Becoming Fully Human, p. 43

“The actual underlying problem in painting in our time can be designated as ‘depicting the spirit form of the human being out of the color.’” — Maria Strakosch-Giesler, Die erlöste Sphinx, 1955

Based on Rudolf Steiner’s indications, Gerard Wagner shows a wholly new approach to the human form in art. The Art of Colour and the Human Form presents the seven motif sketches concerned with the “spirit form of the human being,” as well as numerous studies that Gerard Wagner painted over a period of thirty years. The intention of this volume is to present an artistic approach to these unique motifs and to indicate their potential “color build-up.”

The Art of Colour and the Human Form contributes to a more comprehensive understanding of this new direction in art.

“In Anthroposophy, we have the most modern worldview that can possibly be imagined in our time.... Anthroposophy is, in fact—as Rudolf Steiner called it in London in 1913—‘the gift of Michael to humanity,’ meaning a gift of the Time Spirit. What can be more modem than the gift of the Time Spirit for his epoch, which is to last for several hundred years and even beyond as a path to a conscious collaboration of human beings with the spiritual hierarchies? What can be more modem than that?”

Sergei O. Prokofieff

Rudolf Steiner

Rudolf Steiner (b. Rudolf Joseph Lorenz Steiner, 1861–1925) was born in the small village of Kraljevec, Austro-Hungarian Empire (now in Croatia), where he grew up. As a young man, he lived in Weimar and Berlin, where he became a well-published scientific, literary, and philosophical scholar, known especially for his work with Goethe’s scientific writings. At the beginning of the twentieth century, he began to develop his early philosophical principles into an approach to systematic research into psychological and spiritual phenomena. Formally beginning his spiritual teaching career under the auspices of the Theosophical Society, Steiner came to use the term Anthroposophy (and spiritual science) for his philosophy, spiritual research, and findings. The influence of Steiner’s multifaceted genius has led to innovative and holistic approaches in medicine, various therapies, philosophy, religious renewal, Waldorf education, education for special needs, threefold economics, biodynamic agriculture, Goethean science, architecture, and the arts of drama, speech, and eurythmy. In 1924, Rudolf Steiner founded the General Anthroposophical Society, which today has branches throughout the world. He died in Dornach, Switzerland.

Gerard Wagner

Gerard Wagner (1906–1999) was born in Germany and grew up in England. He began his vocation as an artist by learning from an English plein air painter before starting formal studies at the Royal College of Art in London. Beginning in 1926, he took up the challenge of a new direction in painting as initiated by Rudolf Steiner, which became the essence of his life’s work for more than seventy years. Through his efforts to grasp the secrets of Steiner’s training sketches for painters, Wagner succeeded in disclosing their metamorphic character and, from this, was able to develop a systematic approach to painting. Elisabeth Wagner-Koch, whom Gerard later married, became his first student in 1950, and together they established The Painting School at the Goetheanum, of which he remained the principle teacher until his death in Arlesheim,Switzerland. Rudolf Steiner’s indications for an art of the future remained the impulse for Wagner’s research and artistic activity throughout his life. The fruits of his research are a unique method of teaching and his archive of paintings, which continue to be a source of inspiration for the school. Wagner’s wife Elisabeth cares for the archive of about 4,000 paintings.