Friedrich influenced quite a few artists. The dark blue sea is flecked with white suggesting the threat of a storm. On Friedrich's request The Monk by the Sea was hung above The Abbey in the Oakwood. Above it in that turbulent middle section blue-grey clouds gather giving way in the highest part to a clearer, calmer blue. Friedrich however deliberately shunned such tricks.
The city with its gothic church towers shall be read as metaphor for the Christian Middle Age. Behind, bathed in bright light, we can see a village surrounded by pastures, bushes and fields. He was an early symbolist, to early for him. In a letter of February 1809, he described the image for the first time. Similarly, in his Metaphysics, Aristotle found that the universal elements of beauty were order, symmetry, and definiteness.
The monk looks vulnerable and lost with himself and the infinity. Geometrically his horizontal position conforms to in Golden Ratio , which — in accordance with a classical Cartesian theory of proportions was the harmony ideal of Greek art. With nothing but land, sea and sky to measure him by, his physical presence is rendered fragile and hauntingly ambiguous. No object no without observer. The monk is positioned a little over a third of the way into the painting from the left, to a ratio of around 1:1. Kleist wrote, for example: How wonderful it is to sit completely alone by the sea under an overcast sky, gazing out over the endless expanse of water.
Now it is generally accepted that both in his technical brilliance and theoretically in his views of what the purpose of art should be, Friedrich was as radical as they come. Three horizontal zones divide the painting: the sky with raspberry mist, black sea and almost white sand, each delimited by the yank edge and the horizon. The rückenfigur Caspar David Friedrich, Wanderer above the Sea of Fog, 1818, oil on canvas, 37. The rotten top represents the German elite at that time, during the counterrevolution, 25 years before the tragically failed Revolution 1848. There is no longer any perspective depth whatsoever. Some five-sixths of the canvas is given over to the diffuse structure of the cloudy sky.
Drastically, the sky occupies five sixth of the image. There is no other staffage; even the two sailing boats which Friedrich had originally envisaged on either side of the man he subsequently painted over. Or on other words, the artist paints, what he sees in himself. Especially in Romanticism, in which artworks supposedly not only depict an object, but represent holistic the artists inner side: artwork and artist converge in the Ego. The Romantic imagination: literature and art in England and Germany. University of Chicago Press, 2004 Jens Christian Jensen, Caspar David Friedrich — Leben und Werk, 1974.
It was painted between 1808 and 1810 in Dresden and was first shown together with the painting The Abbey in the Oakwood Abtei im Eichwald in the Berlin Academy exhibition of 1810. No situation in the world could be more sad and eerie than this—as the only spark of life in the wide realm of death, a lonely center in a lonely circle. Conclusion To me, Friedrich had a truly unique style; he could transform landscapes from a mere forest to a wooded wonderland where each branch symbolized something greater, something deeper. Time was marked by war and motives, which at first sight are marked by reverie and sensitivity, show at second glance loneliness, death and great melancholy. The Romantic Vision of Caspar David Friedrich: Paintings and Drawings from the U.
All lines literally flee like rays, from the middle of the painting and also the blue awakens the illusion of depth. It represents the existential fundamental loneliness of man in the universe. Its composition breaks with all traditions. The tiny monk in the Friedrich and the fisher in the Turner establish a poignant contrast between the infinite vastness of a pantheistic God and the infinite smallness of His creatures. It is unclear whether he is standing on a high rock or only on a gentle slope to the sea. Reproduction of the Rothko can be found here.
Friedrich settled in Dresden, where he worked in printmaking with etchings and layouts for woodcuts, later turning to watercolours, ink and sepias. Notice the broken, rotten top pointing to the sky. These generally followed the principles of a style imported from England known as the picturesque which tended to employ well-established perspectival techniques designed to draw the viewer into the picture; devices such as trees situated in the foreground or rivers winding their course, snake- like, into the distance. At the bottom of the picture, the whitish sand dunes making up the narrow strip of shoreline rise at an obtuse angle towards the left. It was painted between 1809 and 1810 in Dresden. The stages in its conception were also documented by guests to his studio. Acting as a visual cue, the figure draws us into the painting, prompting us, challenging us even, to follow its example and simply look.