The "Blue Flower" in the Romanticism

"The Blue Flower" is a popular motif in the poetry of the Romanticism. In the novel of Novalis, "Henry of Ofterdingen", which was written in 1802, the hero dreams about a blue flower, which fills him with yearning ...

"A kind of sweet slumber seized him, in which he dreamed about indescribable incidents and from which he was woken up by another inspiration. He found himself on a wide lawn, at the edge on a spring .... Dark rocks with coloured veins raised far away, the daylight, by which he was surrounded, was lighter and softer than usual, the sky was black-blue and absolutely pure. But what attracted him with full power was a tall light blue flower, growing beside the spring and touching him with its shiny leaves. Around it grew innumerable flowers in all colours and their delicious scent filled the air.

He did not notice anything else than the blue flower and watched it for a long time with tenderness. At last he wanted to get closer to it, when suddenly it started to move and to change: the leaves became more shiny and snuggled up to the growing stalk, the flower inclined towards him and the blossoms showed a blue collar around a soft face."

Stimulated and exited by this dream Henry set out for finding the spring of his yearning. Some day during his travels when standing on a hill he looks towards his destination and towards his home at the same time. At this moment he gets the feeling that he rather approaches to his home than to leave it. Thus the Blue Flower is a symbol for start as well as for fulfilment of longings but as well a symbol of finding the own personal luck and sense of life. The simultaneous view towards forward and back makes a spiritual reflection about the past in view of the future possible.

In Augsburg Henry meets Mathilde and by watching her face he finds an association to his dream. Her face remembers him of the face in the flower. The association between the symbolism of the blue flower and of Mathilde's face can also be seen as the longing for unity with nature. At last Mathilde dies, but Henry keeps his love and thus his longings.

The poetic symbolism of the colour blue is noticed intuitive by readers and can also be understood by means of the modern realisation of the psychology of colours. Thinking on the colour causes a yearning, dreamy feeling and produces safety and calm at the same time". (Thomas Seilnacht)


"feeling blue" - "blue monday"

From the devils colour to king of colour materials

Wassily Kandinsky, Franz Marc and "Der Blaue Reiter " (=the Blue Horseman)