The image most readily associated with Caspar David Friedrich is that of a “Wanderer Above the Fog” a lone figure standing in misty mountainous wilds, turned away from us. 172 years after his death, the German Romantic painter Caspar David Freiderich remains like his man above the fog, one of the most unknowable of all artists. Interpretations have come and gone: the Nazis, most notoriously, read him as espousing German nationalism through his soaring, sublime landscapes. With sumptuous illustrations this is the art book of 2012 to own.
This refreshing publication is a lavishly produced and illustrated volume on the controversial 19th-century Romantic artist, addresses Caspar David Friedrich’s modern critics while deepening our appreciation for his singular genius.
A painting must stand as a painting, made by human hand, wrote Caspar David Friedrich, not seek to disguise itself as nature.
One of his generation’s most popular painters, Friedrich imagined landscapes of powerful beauty and spirituality from within the confines of his studios. This breathtaking monograph, filled with glorious reproductions and details of his paintings, argues for Friedrich’s reputation as a sublime artist and interpreter of nature. In his thoughtful and well researched commentary, author Johannes Grave explores Friedrich’s unique approach to landscape painting as well as his revolutionary thoughts about how these paintings should be received by their viewers. Looking closely at pieces such as Monk by the Sea, The Abbey in the Oakwood, and the Tetschen Altar, Graves shows how Friedrich developed an innovative approach to landscape painting, one that communicated a new sense of space and time, and which draws the viewer into a unique aesthetic experience. Readable, insightful, and copiously illustrated in a deluxe volume, this compelling new perspective sheds crucial light on Friedrich’s celebrated body of work.
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