6. painted “wanderer above the sea of fog”
CLAIRE TABOURET cites German Romanticism as her inspiration. At the heart of her large painting, in which a female character stands in the middle of a desert landscape scattered with cactuses, the artist transposes the male heroic figure into a female figure. This painting, with its halo of misty light and its muted colours, carries out a reversal of gender roles, even going as far as turning around the walking figure to face the viewer. CLAIRE TABOURET offers a reinterpretation of that Wanderer who inspired her, while celebrating oneirism.
ADRIEN MISSIKA‘s rocks, to which he applies a motif by transfer, convey ideas of sedimentation and surging. The artist carries out material alterations on stones found in nature; on their mineral surface, he creates a vegetal microcosm: the represented cannabis plants suggest a calmed inner world in which a dreamlike mood mixes with intensified emotions and aesthetic transcendence.
The painting is composed of various elements from the Elbe Sandstone Mountains in Saxony and Bohemia, sketched in the field but in accordance with his usual practice, rearranged by Friedrich himself in the studio for the painting. In the background to the right is the Zirkelstein. The mountain in the background to the left could be either the Rosenberg or the Kaltenberg. The group of rocks in front of it represent the Gamrig near Rathen. The rocks on which the traveler stands are a group on the Kaiserkrone. 
Some meaning of this work is lost in the translation of its title. In German, the title is “Wanderer über dem Nebelmeer”. Wanderer in German can mean either “wanderer” or “hiker”. 
Like so many of paintings by the German Romantic painter Caspar David Friedrich, the images focuses on a person gazing out over nature. We gaze out alongside him, a few paces behind perhaps, but still a companion in the moment. The terms for this device is Rückenfigur, or figure seen from behind, a compositional device by which the viewer can more readily identify with the scene.
The man himself appears to have hiked up this mountain and now looks out over the precipice at the heights he has scaled. He is an explorer — though we sense driven more by romantic sensibility than by any professional pursuit. The way his hair catches in the wind, his overtly noble stance with one leg raised, his frock coat and walking cane, all give the impression of a well-to-do town-dweller who has chosen to spend time in the wilds of nature rather than human society.
My Daily Art Display painting today is a mesmerising scene of a young man, believed to be a portrait of the artist himself, with his back to us perched on a rocky outcrop gazing out reverentially over a landscape which is almost hidden by thick swirls of fog and clouds. He is bedecked in a green frock-coat, leaning slightly on his walking stick, his curly blonde hair caught by the wind. We, the viewer, look with the eyes of this young man and can just make out, through the thick pervading grey fog, a middle ground with its small clumps of trees which stand atop a rocky escarpment. Further into the background one can see the tall greyish-blue toned mountains, lightly shrouded by the clouds, above which we are able to observe the sky with its slight glowing hue indicating that we are witnessing either the start or end of the day.
Caspar David Friedrich was born in Greifswald, Germany in 1774. At the age of twenty, he began his studies at the Academy in Copenhagen. In 1798 he moved and settled down in Dresden but travelled extensively throughout Germany. His landscapes, like that of his painting today, were based entirely of those of northern Germany and show in detail the breathtaking magnificence of the hills, harbours and weather conditions of that area which Friedich had observed. Many of his scenes are devoid of people and concentrate on menacing ravines, intimidating cliffs and terrifying seas of ice. One can see that in his landscape paintings, Friedrich gave more emphasis to threatening landscapes rather than the benign beautiful ones often painted by other artists.
The painting of the wanderer above the sea of fog is a work of creative exploration and internal integration, an artistic expression of a higher self — the supreme wisdom of total integration which forms the basis for real individualism. The fully integrated individual constitutes a higher man — what Friedrich Nietzsche would later call an übermensch (‘overman,’ ‘superman’) who is able to transcend his mere humanity.
“The growth of the mind is the widening of the range of consciousness, and … each step forward has been a most painful and laborious achievement.” -Carl Jung, Contributions to Analytical Psychology (1928)