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Caspar David Friedrich - Master of Mystery

April 5, 2024

From magical beauty to dark melancholy. Silence, longing, and the forces of nature: Caspar David Friedrich created cult paintings.

Wanderer ueber Nebelmeer Friedrich | Caspar David Friedrich 1774-1840
Image: akg-images/picture alliance

And with them gave inspiration to Walt Disney, computer game designers, and climate activists. But why did he always paint people from the back?

Caspar David Friedrich | Porträt von Caroline Bardua
Image: Fine Art Images/Heritage Images/IMAGO

German Romantic painter Caspar David Friedrich died in poverty after his works fell out of fashion, but on his 250th birthday he is the artist of the moment. Friedrich was a pioneer who still shapes the visual world of today. His most famous painting Wanderer over a Sea of Fog is a favorite of the selfie generation.

Friedrich's works focus on loneliness and the sublime and feature transformative encounters with spiritualized nature. They often allude to specific locations but are actually fantasy compositions.

Friedrich-mania explained with reference to ten of his most famous paintings. Kitsch or Kunst? And why does the artist always depict people from behind?



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