caspar david friedrich the wanderer above the sea of fog

Caspar david friedrich the wanderer above the sea of fog
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. [5]
Media related to Der Wanderer über dem Nebelmeer at Wikimedia Commons

Caspar david friedrich the wanderer above the sea of fog
Wanderer above the Sea of Fog (German: Der Wanderer über dem Nebelmeer), also known as Wanderer above the Mist or Mountaineer in a Misty Landscape, [1] is an oil painting c. 1818 [2] by the German Romantic artist Caspar David Friedrich. It has been considered one of the masterpieces of Romanticism and one of its most representative works. It currently resides in the Kunsthalle Hamburg in Hamburg, Germany.
Robert Macfarlane discusses the painting in terms of its significant influence on how mountain climbing has been viewed in the Western world since the Romantic era, calling it the “archetypical image of the mountain-climbing visionary”, and describing its power in representing the concept that standing on mountain tops is something to be admired, an idea which barely existed in earlier centuries. [12]

Caspar david friedrich the wanderer above the sea of fog
Oil on canvas – Collection of Lower Saxony State Museum, Hanover, Germany
Despite this conventional symbolism, Friedrich’s approach to composition remains quite experimental, particularly in his use of an unbalanced composition. The verticality of the ship and the horizontality of the horizon are not arranged with traditional proportions, and the sharply foreshortened presentation of the ship broke with the contemporary expectations for composing a picturesque landscape.

Caspar david friedrich the wanderer above the sea of fog
Wanderer above the Sea of Fog is true to the Romantic style and Friedrich’s style in particular, being similar to other works such as Chalk Cliffs on Rügen and The Sea of Ice. Gorra’s (2004) analysis was that the message conveyed by the painting is one of Kantian self-reflection, expressed through the wanderer’s gazings into the murkiness of the sea of fog. Dembo (2001) sympathised, asserting that Wanderer presents a metaphor for the unknown future. Gaddis (2004) felt that the impression the wanderer’s position atop the precipice and before the twisted outlook leaves “is contradictory, suggesting at once mastery over a landscape and the insignificance of the individual within it”.
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.

Caspar david friedrich the wanderer above the sea of fog
The other technique relies on the use of contrast, in particular, color contrast. The idea is this: the sharper the contrast between two shapes, the harder the edge. For example, take the following two shapes:
For example, if you look at the foreground, the edges used for the rocks are harder than the edges used for the fog.

References:

http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wanderer_above_the_Sea_of_Fog
http://m.theartstory.org/artist/friedrich-caspar-david/artworks/
http://www.wikiart.org/en/caspar-david-friedrich/the-wanderer-above-the-sea-of-fog
http://drawpaintacademy.com/wanderer-above-the-sea-of-fog/
http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wanderer_above_the_Sea_of_Fog

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