Thursday, July 12, 2007

Still on the subject of monks...

FRIEDRICH, Caspar David (b. 1774, Greifswald, d. 1840, Dresden)
Monk by the Sea 1809
Oil on canvas, 110 x 172 cm
Nationalgalerie, Berlin

Friedreich`s high point of fame was around 1810.

This landscape was purchased by the Prussian Crown Prince Frederick William. It helped propel him towards celebrity in his time.

The theme: the tiny figure of a man set against a natural landscape divided into three horizontal zones of colour. Its composition breaks with all traditions.

There is no longer any perspective depth whatsoever.

In the awareness of his smallness, the man, in whose place the viewer is meant to imagine himself, reflects upon the power of the universe.