Thursday, 18 March 2010

Caspar David Friedrich

The Monk by the Sea, 1808-1810

Caspar David Friedrich (1774-1840) was the chief exponent of German Romanticism. His imagination lay in Northern Europe and had very little to do with the dominant culture from the Mediterranean: the Neoclassicism of imperial France. The brooding melancholic landscapes he constructed populated by Gothic ruins, set themselves against Neoclassicism's order, rationalism and authority.

The Abbey in the Oakwood 1808–10

The Chasseur in the Forest, 1814

The Evening, 1820-21

Moonrise Over the Sea 1822

"One of the great themes of of nineteenth-century Romantic painting was the interplay between the world and the spirit: the search for images of those states of mind, embodied in nature, that exist beyond or below our conscious control" (Hughes, R 1980 p.269).

The Tree of Crows

The Sea of Ice 1823–24

The Oak Tree in the Snow 1829

Man and Woman Contemplating the Moon, 1830–35

Seashore by Moonlight, 1835–36

Friedrich would influence a diverse range of artists from the New England luminists to the Symbolists and Munch to Expressionism and Surrealism; notably the work of Max Ernst. Surrealist would view Friedrich as a precursor to their movement.

In his 1961 article "The Abstract Sublime" Robert Rosenbloom would draw comparisons between the work of the abstract expressionists and the artists Turner and Friedrich.

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