Art just for artists? Considerations based on R. Steiner


  • Karoline S. Schleder
  • Tania Stoltz


Abstract. The aim of this study was to understand the role of creative artistic activity in human development, based on the theoretical reference of Steiner, Goethe and Schiller. This study is justified by the discussions on the therapeutic process, given the contribution of artistic activity in facing difficult moments in life. Steiner presents the notion of intuitive thinking, proper to the development of an ethical individualism, representing the subject’s experience of consciousness and freedom. In his method of nature observation, Goethe makes evident the importance of intuition and the observation of phenomena from different perspectives, seeking to understand their integration with the whole. Schiller, in turn, indicates the play impulse, the synthesis between passion and reason, as the truly human domain of freedom which can be released through art. This is basically a qualitative study, performed by analysing ten semi-structured interviews with adults who are not artists, seeking to establish recurring themes present in their speech. All the participants related their moments of creation or contact with artistic activities as being pleasurable. A recurring theme spoken of by in the speech of the participants is that of artistic activity as a form of expression that enables self-knowledge, plenitude, relaxation and coping with difficult situations in life. It can be observed that even though they were not artists, the participants reported significant moments of involvement with art, present especially during childhood and adolescence. Steiner makes evident the importance of artistic activities in facilitating the cognitive process, since it enables the development of observation and intuitive thinking. These are linked to the development of consciousness and responsibility, proper to a person seeking their own freedom. In the interviews, their speech the participants give significance to their contacts with art as being moments of self-discovery, self-knowledge and overcoming difficult moments or, in other words, moments of the development of the consciousness of themselves in relation to their experiences. The conclusion is reached that creative artistic activity is important for human development because it develops consciousness and, in this way, the possibility of freedom. As such, it is interesting to study the possibilities of creative artistic activities in the therapeutic process by also taking Goethe, Schiller and Steiner as a reference. Keywords: Steiner, art, human development.