wanderer above the sea of fog by caspar david friedrich

Wanderer above the sea of fog by caspar david friedrich
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”. [11]
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.

Wanderer above the sea of fog by caspar david friedrich
Wanderer above the Sea of Fog is true to the Romantic style and Friedrich’s style in particular, [6] 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. [4] Dembo (2001) sympathised, asserting that Wanderer presents a metaphor for the unknown future. [7] 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”. [3]
Media related to Der Wanderer über dem Nebelmeer at Wikimedia Commons

Wanderer above the sea of fog by caspar david friedrich
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.
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”.

Wanderer above the sea of fog by caspar david friedrich
Locating and representing the moods of nature was Friedrich’s underpinning as an artist. Born is 1774 in the harbour town of Greifswald, his first subjects were the wild Baltic coastlands of northeastern Germany. Gradually, his depictions of nature began to contain crosses, Gothic buildings and religious motifs reflecting his strict Lutheran upbringing. With these symbols he found a means of heightening the intensity of landscape to a level where it seems heavy with allegory. He often ‘invented’ his paintings by fusing together several sketches from different locations into one image, sometimes even using the sketches made by other artists to fulfill his vision.
The success of this painting, I think, lies in the possibility of this ambiguity: that a scene of such glory can also pose the threat of tragedy or personal alienation. What is he thinking as he stands there? It is impossible to tell.

Wanderer above the sea of fog by caspar david friedrich
Universally, the destruction of the man-made vessel at the hands of powerful and unforgiving nature fits with Friedrich’s admiration and awe of the natural world. In this inhospitable realm of frozen seas, man’s audacity and self-confidence are dashed like children’s toys by the immense force of the ice. We are dwarfed by the powers beyond our control.
Oil on canvas – Collection of Thuringer Landesmuseum Heidecksburg, Rudolstadt, Germany

References:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wanderer_above_the_Sea_of_Fog
http://www.wikiart.org/en/caspar-david-friedrich/the-wanderer-above-the-sea-of-fog
http://medium.com/thinksheet/how-to-read-paintings-wanderer-above-the-sea-of-fog-by-caspar-david-friedrich-b8c8f0e20d45
http://m.theartstory.org/artist/friedrich-caspar-david/artworks/
http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wanderer_above_the_Sea_of_Fog

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