Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Caspar David Friedrich (1774 – 1840)

"Monk by the Sea" painted by Caspar David Friedrich, 1809


"What the newer landscape artists see in a circle of a hundred degrees in Nature they press together unmercifully into an angle of vision of only forty-five degrees. And furthermore, what is in Nature separated by large spaces, is compressed into a cramped space and overfills and oversatiates the eye, creating an unfavorable and disquieting effect on the viewer."
Caspar David Friedrich

Heinrich von Kleist:

“How wonderful it is to sit completely alone by the sea under an overcast sky, gazing out over the endless expanse of water. It is essential that one has come there just for this reason, and that one has to return. That one would like to go over the sea but cannot; that one misses any sign of life, and yet one senses the voice of life in the rush of the water, in the blowing of the wind, in the drifting of the clouds, in the lonely cry of the birds ... No situation in the world could be more sad and eerie than this—as the only spark of life in the wide realm of death, a lonely center in a lonely circle... Nevertheless, this definitively marks a totally new departure in Friedrich's art...

...since in its monotony and boundlessness it has no foreground except the frame, when viewing it, it is as if one's eyelids had been cut away.”

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