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Scenes of Childhood in Collage

– Posted in: Aesthetics Collage & Montage Creativity Digital Art Digital Collage Inspiration Memes Surrealism Wood Engravings Wordless Wednesday

In 1838, German composer Robert Schumann published a set of thirteen short piano pieces, titled Kinderszenen (Scenes from Childhood). Having lived a life fraught with struggles, difficulties in love, lack of musical recognition, physical illness, and suicide attempts, Schumann seems in these simple compositions to look back with affection on an equally simple time in his youth: a period when even troubles were fast zu ernst (“almost too serious”).

The son of a writer, Schumann grew up strongly influenced by both literature and music, and practiced both. The early nineteenth century saw the philosophy of German idealism and the literature of  German romanticism in their fullest flower. It was the age of Hegel, Goethe, and Schiller.  More than many composers of his time, Schumann was especially susceptible to the emotional and episodic possibilities inherent in music. Many of his pieces seem to be musical stories. This is not surprising, given their inspiration by literature of the Romantic period: two of his most famous collections of compositions, Fantasiestücke and Kreisleriana, are based upon the work of the author E.T.A. Hofmann, of Tales of Hofmann fame.

Memoirs of Youth (2012). Digital collage created & copyright © by Eric Edelman. All rights reserved.

In Kinderszenen, Schumann bears us away from the angst and unhappy emotional complications of his other work, toward the early years when even the most serious dramas somehow resolved themselves in a matter of minutes. Back in childhood, Schumann seems to say, every day was like a newly-minted coin, full of possibilities and splendor, just waiting to be spent in a thousand different ways. We could not wait to be out of bed in the morning, and we could not bear to return at night. Have our adult lives ever been as enchanting and full of adventure as they were when we were very young?


For more on Kinderszenen, see:

For more on Schumann, see: 

(All artwork, descriptions, & other text [except for quotations, links, and cited research material] created & copyright © by Eric Edelman. All rights reserved.)

33 Comments… add one

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33 comments… add one
Jessica @peekababy September 25, 2012, 10:03 am

We really should all have some simple, beautiful things to reflect on when nothing seems to be going right. If only I could compose…;)

Eric Edelman September 25, 2012, 12:47 pm

That’s why I hoped that this collage would hark back to some of the fun of childhood. I’ve also often wished I could compose, for that reason and so many others. (Have you gone to the Kinderszenen link yet, to listen to the pieces?) Thanks for your thoughtful comment, Jessica!

stevebethere September 25, 2012, 11:14 am

Fantabulosa! as usual great work 🙂

Eric Edelman September 25, 2012, 12:19 pm

Thanks so much, Steve! I appreciate your comment. Have great WW and week.

Paula J September 25, 2012, 12:09 pm

Omgosh I’m able to link up this week! Yay 🙂

Happy WW!

Eric Edelman September 25, 2012, 12:15 pm

Woo-hoo! Welcome, Paula, and happy WW.

Theresa September 25, 2012, 1:52 pm

I really love the colors on this one this week!

Happy WW!

Eric Edelman September 25, 2012, 2:35 pm

Thanks very much, Theresa!

Verena September 25, 2012, 4:03 pm

I love to listen to Robert Schumann´s piano pieces! Your collage is just perfect and explains everything so well!

Eric, I hope you are well!
Happy WW!


Eric Edelman September 25, 2012, 5:36 pm

\Vielen Dank, Verena! Ich bin froh, wieder mit Ihnen in Verbindung, nachdem eine lange Zeit. Die Klaviermusik von Schumann freut mich sehr, und ich liebe es zu hören. Aber es ist sehr seltsam, dass ich nicht wirklich von Schumanns Kinderszenen denken, bis ich fast fertig war, meinen Collage.

Haben Sie eine wunderbare wortlose Mittwoch, mit herzlichen Grüßen aus Amerika,


Char September 25, 2012, 4:07 pm

Beautiful! I always learn something new with your collages Eric.

Eric Edelman September 25, 2012, 5:25 pm

Thanks very much, Char! I appreciate your visit and your kind commment. Happy WW!

Judy Haughton-James September 25, 2012, 6:46 pm

Wonderful piece! It makes one reflect on one’s childhood. It definitely was a better time for me. Thanks for hosting and Happy WW!

Eric Edelman September 25, 2012, 7:01 pm

Thank you so much, Judy! I’m glad you enjoyed the collage. It’s a pleasure to host you–Happy WW!!

Lena Sledge September 26, 2012, 1:20 am

Enjoyed this collage, especially the bottom part where the kids are playing games at the table, I can remember doing that with my siblings and cousins. Thanks for sharing, don’t forget to stop by and add your linky to my blog.

Eric Edelman September 26, 2012, 8:37 am

Thanks for your visit and your comment, Lena! I’m glad you enjoyed the collage. I’m stopping by your site now. Have a fab WW!

Daryl - My Eyes September 26, 2012, 7:55 am

like this one a lot … love the look back

Eric Edelman September 26, 2012, 8:35 am

Thanks very much, Daryl! Have a great WW.

Erika September 26, 2012, 8:48 am

Thanks for another great post, Eric! I play classical piano and Schumann has long been one of my favourite composers (along with Lizst & Wagner) – I and regularly play his Fantasiestücke pieces!

Eric Edelman September 26, 2012, 10:49 am

Thanks for your nice comment, Erika! Schumann’s also been a favorite of mine for a long time. You must be quite a pianist to grapple with his Fantasiestücke!

Rosey September 26, 2012, 9:00 am

I love the nostalgic feel.

Eric Edelman September 26, 2012, 10:37 am

Thanks very much, Rosey!

Leovi September 26, 2012, 9:46 am

Delicious color and light in this collage, reminds me of my childhood in school.

Eric Edelman September 26, 2012, 10:37 am

Thanks so much for your kind comments, Leovi!

Leovi September 26, 2012, 9:48 am

Really magical, I love those little dreams.

Lily @Militaryfamof8 September 26, 2012, 1:08 pm

Thanks for the linky, I have a linky on my Wordless Wednesday post as well…

fill out your info here if you want your linkies on my future directory

Eric Edelman September 26, 2012, 5:40 pm

Welcome! Thanks for visiting RetroCollage. I’ve also left a link and comment at your site. Hope you have a terrific week & rest of WW.

Mary September 26, 2012, 3:20 pm

I love the old fashioned feel of this collage. My siblings and I played cards and boardgames growing up. Still play with my kids too. Family nights are fun! Neat collage!

Eric Edelman September 26, 2012, 5:01 pm

Thank you very much, Mary! I also played cards and board games a lot in childhood. So as you’ve correctly surmised, that was the inspiration to include a game-board here. (Frankly, I still have trouble adjusting to the idea of video and computer games!)

Claudia September 26, 2012, 3:32 pm

Thanks for another great collage and for the nudge down memory lane, to our Kinderzeit. We should do it more often. Then again I get depressed thinking about how creative I used to be… The text also makes me ask if you have German ancestors? I am German, living now in the US with an American hubby 🙂
Tschuess und bis bald, Claudia

Eric Edelman September 26, 2012, 4:56 pm

Vielen Dank für Ihre freundlichen Kommentar! Ich glaube, dass für die meisten von uns, Kindheit ist in der Tat knapp unter der Oberfläche unseres Lebens. Ich denke über meine Kindheit fast jeden Tag. Und ich möchte Sie ermutigen, in die eigene Kreativität zu glauben. Es ist nie zu spät!

Ich habe nur gelernt, über diesen letzten Sommer: scheinbar meines Vaters Großvater väterlicherseits und Großmutter väterlicherseits kamen beide zu diesem Land aus Wien in den späten neunzehnten Jahrhunderts. Vielleicht waren beide Österreicher?

Wie für den Aufsatz, hörte mein Vater und Mutter meist auf klassische Musik, wenn ich aufwuchs. Ich liebe die Musik von Schumann, Schubert und Brahms, und haben es mein ganzes Leben lang gehört. Also für mich scheint es eine natürliche Sache, über Kinderszenen schreiben, weil ich von ihnen inspiriert wurde.

Joyce September 26, 2012, 10:46 pm

Good Yuntiv.

Eric Edelman September 26, 2012, 11:06 pm

Thanks, Joyce–to you as well.

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