Thematic focus

Marienbild und Militanz in Friedrich Schillers Die Jungfrau von Orleans. Longue durée, Nachleben und Aktualisierung barockkatholischer Schlagbilder im Zeitalter der Revolutionskriege

Ulrich Port

Published online:

01 Jul 2018

Abstract

Abstract

This essay demonstrates how Baroque Catholic motifs of an aggressive and militant Virgin Mary are envisioned in Friedrich Schiller’s tragedy Die Jungfrau von Orleans – motifs which seem to be anachronistic with regard to the late medieval setting of the Joan of Arc story as well as with regard to the date of origin of Schiller’s play (1800 –1801). But precisely this anachronism can be read as a symptom of the times around 1800: namely as a return of repressed stocks of images from the age of confessionalization which gained explosive force for different reasons in the first decade after the French Revolution. In the eighteenth century these visual and verbal images of the Virgin Mary had only been cultivated by late Baroque church art and within a popular religious longue durée, which had been criticized and neutralized by enlightened Catholicism and which had been attacked by revolutionary iconoclasm. At the turn of the century, they started a peculiar Nachleben and were – in the sense of Aby Warburg’s Revenants – remembered again, being reactivated and refreshed as Schlagbilder.

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