— Hans-Georg Gadamer
Context: The free artist creates without a commission. He seems distinguished by the complete independence of his creativity and thus acquires the characteristic social features of an outsider whose style of life cannot be measured by the standards of public morality. The concept of the bohemian which arose in the nineteenth century reflects this process. The home of the Gypsies became the generic word for the artist's way of life.
But at the same time the artist, who is as "free as a bird or a fish," bears the burden of a vocation that makes him an ambiguous figure. For a cultured society that has fallen away from its religious traditions expects more from art than the aesthetic consciousness and the "standpoint of art" can deliver. The Romantic desire for a new mythology... gives the artist and his task in the world the consciousness of a new consecration. He is something like a "secular saviour' for his creations are expected to achieve on a small scale the propitiation of disaster for which an unsaved world hopes.