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Publié : 24 octobre 2013
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Caspar David Friedrich

Caspar David Friedrich ( 1774-1840 )  was a 19th century German romantic painter, whose favorite subjects were still lives and landscapes. 

Wanderer above the Sea of Fog

Wanderer above the Sea of Fog

 The man in the foreground staring into the distance is believed to be Friedrich himself. He depicts the mountains,the trees and the heavy mist above the sea ; the light from the bottom seems to be coming up from beneath the rock. The particularity of this painting is that the artist has mixed blues and pinks across the sky with the mountain and rock in the distance echoing these colors. The figure stands in contemplation and self reflection, mesmerized by the haze of the sea fog as if it were a religious and spiritual experience. He wonders in that moment about the unforesseen future. By standing with his back towards the spectators he is not shutting them out ; rather he enables them to see the world through his own eyes, to share and convey his personal experience.

Two Men Contemplating the Moon

Two Men Contemplating the Moon.

Both men contemplate the moon during the time when lunar fascination had taken over Germany. It was first seen in literature ( in Goethe’s works ) and adopted by Friedrich. The glow of the moon in the background creates silhouettes in the foreground as darkness shrouds both the figures and the oak. Friedrich has made another painting on the same theme, called Man and Woman Contemplate the Moon

Man and Woman Contemplate the Moon

People in the painting are all wearing old German clothes, and wearing old traditional costumes, which, in the early XIXth century, was a political gesture : a protest against the conservative policies enforced during the Napoleonic wars ; the moonlight in front of them may represent their hope for better times.