why did friedrich painting wanderer above the sea of fog
Media related to Der Wanderer über dem Nebelmeer at Wikimedia Commons
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.
The first Friedrich painting on our top list is the iconic Wanderer Above the Sea of Fog (Der Wanderer über dem Nebelmeer) or Mountaineer in a Misty Landscape made by the artist in 1818. It is considered one of Friedrich’s most representative paintings and one of the masterpieces of Romanticism, now held at Kunsthalle Hamburg in Germany.
Editors’ Tip: Caspar David Friedrich
I enjoy this painting for many reasons. I believe it captures the spirit of romanticism while also incorporating its own distinctly German elements to it — if you have even a shallow familiarity with art history, you look at it and just know it’s German. Also, there’s simply the pure aesthetic appeal of the painting: it’s interesting to look at and the suggestions it makes captivates the imagination.
I touched on the spacing a little bit earlier. The waves and fog blur the line of the horizon, so it’s hard to tell where the sea ends and the mountains begin; the fog also contributes to distorting the viewer’s depth perception. This gives the feeling that the sea so vast that it can’t be clearly observed, and also emphasizes the great vastness of nature compared to the minute blip of existence that is mankind.
The key point here is that relationships matter, much more than the absolute hardness of an edge.
The stance of the man is an important feature of the painting in and of itself. He is leaning primarily on one leg and there is a slight shift in his body to counter this. This is known as contrapposto, which is Italian for “opposite” or “counter”. It is considered a natural and visually pleasing stance (think about what the painting would look like if he was standing straight and rigid).
As this man was most likely killed in 1813 or 1814, this painting may also serve as a patriotic tribute.
Though some believe this to be a self-portrait tradition recounts that the figure in Wanderer Above the Sea of Fog is a particular person, a high-ranking forestry officer, Col. Friedrich Gotthard von Brincken, of the Saxon infantry. He wears the green uniform of the volunteer rangers, those called into service against Napoleon by King Friedrich Wilhelm III of Prussia.