Romantic irony is a way of dealing ironically with general irony situations, but principally with the ironic contradictions of art; more precisely, Romantic irony is the expression of an ironical attitude adopted as a means of recognizing and transcending, but still preserving the contradictions. The theory of romantic irony is the theory that this is the only course open to the modern artist. The term 'proto-romantic irony' is intended also to suggest an historical development. The romantic period brought about a change, but not a reversal in favour of the work. What tended to impress the pre-romantics and the romantics was superior reality and power of the creative mind over anything it might create. The theory of romantic irony was developed in Germany in the last decade of eighteenth century and first decade of nineteenth. As a theory it has close affinities with post-Kantian German philosophy, particularly that of Fichte, and with certain other German theories of art and literature.