Pierangelo Schiera

Preußisch Blau

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The blue color of the uniform worn by Frederick the Great is the pretext used by the author to conduct a quick review of Prussian-German history over the last three centuries. The essay traces a synoptic view from the establishment of the fi rst academic chairs in cameral sciences in 1717 up until the elimination of Prussia from the historical-geographical world map at the end of World War II. This view brings into prominence the color of melancholy in the historical events of Germany along the lines suggested by Dürer in his "Melencolia I" since 1514. On the one hand, the pragmatism of a people and its rulers, on the other, the capacity of accompanying growth with highest achievements in philosophy, the sciences, arts, and literature: these two traits have characterized and accompanied German history up to the catastrophe of National Socialism, but they have also allowed for the country's rebirth in a spirit of democracy and social and cultural well-being. This paper is a tribute to the country that more than any other has expressed—in the last centuries of European history—the ambiguous and bipolar nature of modernity.

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