wanderer above a sea of fog artist
Extracted from a monumental, immersive installation entitled Flakturm, Nick DEVEREUX‘s two oil-on-canvas paintings were made using the traditional “Sight-Size” technique used particularly in the baroque period. For this series, the artist based his work on a series of 417 archive photographs documenting paintings destroyed in Berlin’s Friedrichshain bunker in May 1945. NICK DEVEREUX offers a reinterpretation of these images of images, celebrating memory as a primary creative tool.
The exhibition Wanderer Above the Sea of Fog takes its title from Caspar David Friedrich’s major work of Romanticism. Testifying to the movement’s favourite themes—mood landscapes, introspection and the experience of the sublime—it has influenced the thinking of many artists up to the contemporary era. The exhibition marks Galerie Bugada & Cargnel’s tenth anniversary, through one of its key activities, promoting the young French scene, and it will be presenting the work of six of the artists it represents: Wilfrid ALMENDRA, JULIAN CHARRIÈRE, NICK DEVEREUX, CYPRIEN GAILLARD, ADRIEN MISSIKA and Claire TABOURET.
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”. 
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,  is an oil painting c. 1818  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.
T he work of fine art I chose to critique is one of my all-time favorite pieces of art, the painting Wanderer Above the Sea of Fog by Caspar David Friedrich. Completed in 1818, the oil painting is representative of the German Romantic era; it depicts a man in a coat with a cane standing on a rocky outcropping with his back turned gazing out at a violent, foggy sea. Recognized throughout the entire world, it is one of the most famous and iconic Romantic paintings.
The environment of the painting was chosen to perfectly illustrate the order of man against a chaotic background. A violent, foggy sea is the harshest environment man could face, it could swallow you up in an instance and you would be gone forever without the slightest trace, lost for eternity to the treacherous waters. The sea also alludes to the bold spirit of sea travelers who explored new lands, conquering nature, exerting their will over it, daring to tread forth toward a fresh frontier, bravely going where no man had gone before.
Additionally, this painting shows Friedrich’s masterful use of negative space and absence to create a sense of loss and longing. The depiction of ruins and the barren trees suggest death and abandonment, compounded by the dull, muted color palette and uneven compositional balance. Like his The Monk by the Sea, the majority of the canvas depicts only empty sky. Yet the message is not nihilistic: soft light suggests the sun shines down through the clouds; the oak trees are barren, but not dead. There is a promise of rebirth and resurrection.
While Friedrich was deeply religious, aspiring to paint an image that would convey the power of God more fully than possible through words, his approach was highly controversial. When the artist opened his studio to the public in 1808, allowing them to view this work, the 19 th -century art critic Wilhelm von Ramdohr argued that a landscape could not function as an altarpiece. Friedrich and his supporters publicly defended the painting and the resulting debate helped to build Friedrich’s reputation.
What is he thinking as he stands there? It is natural to make the case for an optimistic interpretation: that he has trekked to the top of this rocky precipice, and now, exalted by his efforts, looks over the entire world — glorious and inspired, elevated and dignified.
Friedrich’s landscapes are nearly always large; they are often sombre or portentous. The people in them are frequently on the verge of things, the edge of a sea, the edge of a valley, a predicament that gives rise to the suggestion of journeys being made. Yet these are as much existential journeys — journeys of contemplation — as they are physical ones. Friedrich’s more tangible symbol of travel, the sailing boat, is usually shown in the middle or far distance. These vessels become another transitory element, coming and going like the sunlight, for the gazing people to peer at and silently yearn for.