Antonio Machado, the Institucion Libre de Ensenanza and Spanish Krausism
Antonio Machado was a pupil at the Institucion Libre de Enseffanza from 1883 to 1893. There he received both a modern education unique in the Spain of that time and exposure to the ideological influences of Krausism and institucionismo. After examining the biographical aspects of his contact with the school (chapter 1), I investigate the nature and extent of its influence in certain areas of thought: metaphysics (chapter 2), ethics (chapter 3), art and nature (chapter 4), pedagogy and culture (chapter 5) and politics (chapter 6). My most important conclusions are as follows. Machado did not adopt the metaphysics of Krausism, though there are Krausist echoes in his treatment of Time and Death. What he did acquire from the Krausists was a view of Man and an ethics: an idealistic and moralistic Christian humanism which determined his beliefs and judgements on many questions. This humanism is defined by an optimistic faith in the perfectibility of the human spirit and an ideal of human fraternity. Machado's belief in education through activity, dialogue and "awakening" is both an expression of his view of Man and typical of the pedagogy of the Institucion. His vision of the artist's ethical responsibilities towards his fellow men is typical of the humanist moralism of Krausists and institucionistas. The influence of the Institucion on Machado's art is also seen in his definition of art as a synthesis of the temporal and the essential, in certain images, in his cultivation of simplicity of expression, in thematic and stylistic elements of his treatment of Nature and in his preference for historicist literary criticism. In Machado's political thought the influence of the Institucion is apparent above all in his affirmation of the primacy of spiritual and ethical considerations and in his evaluation of the importance of education and culture as forces for national regeneration.