Wednesday, November 1, 2023

Caspar David Friedrich: Romantic Era Influencer

 As we enter the transition from Autumn to Winter, it feels like a moody time of year. There's fog, cold days, rainy days and the first hints of snow. All this brought to mind the paintings of Caspar David Friedrich (1774-1840) and his works that seem to express this time.





Friedrich was the most highly regarded German painter of his generation. His main source of inspiration was nature. (No wonder I like him) He particularly drawn to night skies, morning mist, barren trees and ancient ruins. His timing and choice of subjects was perfect.


It was a time when people were questioning the material world and reaching towards natural surroundings. In some respects, he predated Henry David Thoreau (1817-1862) and his search in nature at Walden Pond. 

 At the peak of Friedrich's popularity, his works were prized by royalty, especially in Russia. There were many of his paintings featured in Saint Petersburg where he also gained a patronage.

Alas, time meant his subject and style were regarded as dated

and he lost his audience. However, he left a legacy with his form of landscape painting which influenced certain Russian and American painters, including the famous Hudson River School.

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