The most important German artist of his generation, Caspar David Friedrich (1774–1840), championed themes of solitude, nature, and the sublime. In his symbolic and anti-classical scenes of moonrises, mountains, and seas, he emphasized an alienation from materialistic society and the spiritual enrichment of nature.
Famed above all for The Wanderer above a Sea of Fog, Friedrich's paintings tend to set a small human figure against a vast, moody landscape: thick snow, steep chalk cliffs, or swirling dark clouds. These dramatic scenes depended on a sense of solitude, which the artist considered “indispensible” to his encounter with nature and his artistic output. In channelling this subjective experience into art, he became an important precursor to Expressionism.
This book presents key works from Friedrich's repertoire of contemplative landscapes, at times serene, at others melancholy, to introduce a pivotal player in the Romantic movement.
About the Author
Norbert Wolf graduated in art history, linguistics and medieval studies at the universities of Regensburg and Munich, and earned his PhD in 1983. He held visiting professorships in Marburg, Frankfurt, Leipzig, Düsseldorf, Nuremberg-Erlangen, and Innsbruck. His extensive writings on art history include many TASCHEN titles, such as Diego Velázquez, Ernst Ludwig Kirchner, Caspar David Friedrich, Expressionism, Romanesque, Landscape Painting and Symbolism.