One of the most important German thinkers, the philosopher and mystic Jacob Böhme (1575 - 1624) made an impact on literature, philosophy, religion and art that resonated well beyond German borders and that persists even today. Focussing on central concepts in Böhmes work, the Dresden State Art Collections are devotingan exhibition to Böhme in the autumn of 2017 because, despite the fact that Jacob Böhme held a great fascination for writers and artists of later generations, his work is little-known today.

One hundred years after the beginning of the Reformation – on the eve of the 30 Years’ War, as religious disagreements reached their climax – Jacob Böhme attempted to renew the idea of the Reformation. At a time when new scientific discoveries were underminingpeople’s firmly established images of the world, Böhme sought to bring opposing schools of thought together in creative ways.

He did not view religion and science as contradictory; for him, researching the natural world was closely connected to awareness of God. His convictions regarding the philosophy of nature soon earned him the criticism of the church, but he refused to allow this to distract him – despite being forbidden from writing by the church. As the author of numerous works, the self-taught Böhme was active in many differentdisciplines, promoting interconnections and asking questions which are still remarkably relevant today.