Georg Philipp Friedrich von Hardenberg

1772 (Oberwiederstedt, Germany) – 1801 (Weissenfels)

Novalis is increasingly seen as one of the most significant and wide-ranging figures in German romanticist culture. Studying law in Jena, he was befriended and encouraged in his thought by Schiller, before meeting and befriending his fellow-student Friedrich Schlegel in Leipzig (they became strong mutual influences), and studying geology under Werner in Freiberg. Tieck, Schelling and the brothers Schlegel all became close friends; Friedrich Schlegel was present at Novalis’s death, and with Tieck, published his work posthumously. Novalis also met Goethe, Herder and Jean Paul (with Fichte, another contemporary influence).