"The necessary and perhaps obvious thing to point out...is that the notion of artist as prophet is a recent historical category, surfacing in the 18th century and bound up in a complex of cultural and philosophical dynamics. In early nineteenth-century Germany, for example, it was believed that "artists of all kinds were blessed with a prophetic insight that was denied not merely to ordinary people, but even to men of learning." In 1834, the Frenchman Honoré de Balzac insisted on the preeminence of the artist over the king, to the extent that kings ruled only briefly while artists ruled over centuries. He states:"The artist is often a prophet whose vision is not so much the product of its own time as the augur of time to come."
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