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The Artistic Vision of Rainer Maria Rilke

By Michelle Binkley

Rainer Maria Rilke was an Austrian poet who lived from 1875 to 1926. Often referred to as the most significant of German language poets, his writing has often been a place of solace, gritty honesty and baseline truth.

Rilke’s life was focused on most things art and he was quite involved with Rodin – as the Artist’s secretary and lecturer of his sculpture. The artistic vision Rilke acquired during his lifetime was valued by Artists of all walks of life and his work frequently relies on myth, metaphor and contradictions as a spell-bounding literary style.

The following excerpt from Rilke’s “Letters on Life”, particularly moved me because it describes a shift that occurs when a piece of art leaves its creator, the Artist. It serves as a good reminder that with each piece of new work, an Artist take a piece of themselves and gives it to the world.

“One is tempted to explain the work of art in this way: as a profoundly interior confession that is realized under the pretext of a memory, an experience, or an event, and that can exist on its own when thus detached from its creator. This independence of the work of art is what is called beauty. With every work of art a new thing is added to the world.” – Rainer Maria Rilke

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