Caspar David Friedrich

Click on the picture to see an enlarged version.

    • Oil on canvas, 73 x 106 cm.
      Destroyed in 1931 by the fire at the Munich Glass Palace.
    • 1807-08

Another representative picture of Friedrich obsession with winter, the dead months of the year. Although this is black and white photo reproduction of the original which was destroyed by fire in 1931, art-history scholars assume that the colors of the original were probably as intensely black and white. Note in particular the lovely way Friedrich has conveyed the snow and wind of this cold day.

Note in particular the shape of the tree, and the way it is contrasted with the solid mass of the ruin to the right. Friedrich loved to use dead (or at least life-less) trees in order to accentuate their form. This is one of his first attempts to catch the beauty and horror in the grotesque shape, and to use these trees to "symbolize" human failings.

Note the lone figure, an elderly monk. What is he doing here? Why would Friedrich want to include him? Is he to be a pilgrim on the way to the grave?

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