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August Becker: Excerpts from The Palatinate and the Palatines (1858)

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It is remarkable that for all their intelligence, the Palatine people have little interest in spiritual pursuits in the realm of art. Here the lack of a larger city, where the forces of this land could concentrate themselves, is very tangible. A Palatine who chooses art as his profession has the most difficult position right from the beginning. He must fight the low regard of his own countrymen for such "unprofitable" things, even their scorn and derision, while fighting the prejudices of the world outside, which has not heard much about the artistic abilities of the Rhenish Palatine and is not inclined to credit the Palatine people with any. The Rhenish Palatine who does follow the path of art will, with his love of independence, with his direct and open nature, have to fight the hardest against the clique and coterie that awaits his like in the world. People at home and abroad will make sure that his chosen path will not be too easy. It would be very desirable that the warm, gentle sun of the Palatinate finally shines for art, too, though may God deliver this beautiful land from hothouses of art!

Source: August Becker, Die Pfalz und die Pfälzer. 1858; reprint, Kaiserslautern: E. Lincks-Crusius Verlag, 1961, pp. 13-17, 30, 31-32.

Translation: James Sievert

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