This article is devoted to the life and creative work of Robert Budzinski (1874-1955), a graphic artist, painter and man of letters who was born in the East Prussian village of Klein Schläfen (Pol.: Slawka Mala) and died in Marburg. The artist's rich and varied works have been portrayed here in the complex cultural context of East Prussia as it existed during his lifetime. As well as distinguishing the experiences of various cultures and periods in human history, the artist's vision of the world is recognised as being influenced by neo-Platonism. The literal and painterly vision of the world closest at hand introduces the element of irony, distance and 'demytholigisation' in the way Budzinski - an active participant in a movement known as 'Wandervogel' - propagated his image of East Prussia. Budzinski's empirical attitude and universal activity has been placed in a wider context relating to 'Lebensreform', of which prominent cultural formation in Wilhelminian Germany he became an active proponent. Emphasis is also laid on this artist's avoidance of any form of political manipulation and the critical stance he adopted towards the Third Reich. Iconographical and iconological analysis accompanies the formal analysis carried out by the authoress, who emphasises the artist's experimental innovativeness in graphic art; particularly in his original techniques concerning linocut printing for which he has won wide acclaim as a master.
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