In this essay, I argue that a genius's creation consists of a special unity of free human activity and nature, whereby ‘nature’ signifies not just another aspect of, but rather something that transcends, creative subjectivity. This interpretation of a genius's creative process throws a new light on a special normative status of a genius's rule, i.e. its originality and exemplarity. With respect to the former, I demonstrate that because the organizing principle of the works of genius remains inscrutable to our limited human understanding, a work of genius appears to the observer's limited cognitive capacities as undetermined and, hence, as contingent and original. With respect to the latter, I show how a genius must evolve within the context of her own tradition and how this ‘humbleness’ of a genius still allows for a multiplicity of co-existent schools or genres with their own distinct standards of excellence.