A Backview of Caspar Friedrich’s Art

[Image One: Sunset – The Brothers (1835) The Hermitage, St. Petersburg. Image Two: The Wanderer Above the Sea of Clouds (1831) Hamburg Kunsthalle, Hamburg, Germany.]

Caspar David Friedrich studied drawing in Greifswold before going to the Copenhagen Academy between 1794-1798. His drawings in pen and ink were admired by Goethe and won him a Wimar Art Society Prize in 1805. Friedrich’s first major commission came two years later in the form of an altarpiece for Count Thun’s castle in Teschen. This set the tone for many later works in which dramatic landscapes expressed moods, emotions and atmosphere.

  • Friedrich was appointed a professor of the Dresden Academy in 1824, where he influenced many of the young German and Scandinavian artists of the mid-19th Century; and as a result, he ranks highly among the formative figures of the Romanticism Movement.

Friedrich suffered major social difficulties during his youth and once slit his throat in an attempt to kill himself. Further outbursts indicated his fragile mood swings and turmoils which impacted his life.

  • On his return to Germany, Friedrich settled in Dresden where he spent the rest of his life until he died in 1840.

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