• GERMANIC MIGRATIONS AND
  • FRANKISH KINGDOM
  • JOHANNES REUCHLIN
  • THE WEIMAR CONSTITUTION
  • W
  • INFLATION, REPARATIONS, AND
  • THE STRESEMANN ERA, 19231929
  • STABILIZATION AND LOCARNO,
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  • ROAD TO DICTATORSHIP,
  • T
  • CONSOLIDATION OF POWER
  • THE NAZI TOTAL STATE
  • ULRICH VON HUTTEN
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  • FOREIGN POLICY
  • W
  • THE BATTLE OF BRITAIN
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  • PHILIP MELANCHTHON
  • D-DAY TO DEFEAT NAZI GERMANY
  • THE HOLOCAUST
  • A
  • ALLIED PLANS AND CONFERENCES
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  • T
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  • THE KOHL ERA, 19821998
  • T
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  • R
  • CONSEQUENCES AND PROBLEMS OF
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  • P
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  • FOREIGN POLICY
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  • blank check
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  • GERMANIC MIGRATIONS AND
  • Friedrich, Caspar David

    lang=EN-US style='font-size:10.5pt;font-family:"Meridien-Medium","serif"; color:black'>(17741840)

    artist

    Caspar David Friedrich was the greatest artist of

    the romantic movement. He revived landscape

    painting in Germany, depicting an imaginary

    rendition of nature that expressed his melancholy

    moods, pantheistic beliefs, and nationalistic

    feelings.

    On September 5, 1774, Caspar David Friedrich

    was born the son of a soap manufacturer in

    Greifswald. The traumatic deaths of his mother

    and brother produced a melancholy and a sense

    of guilt. His study of art began in 1788, and in

    1794 he entered the art academy of Copenhagen.

    There he not only learned to draw scenes

    from nature but also was exposed to the theories

    of English romanticism. The NAPOLEONIC WARS

    aroused a strong hatred of France and love of

    Germany, and he became depressed at the news

    of Prussias military defeat in 1806. In mountain

    scenes depicting lost French soldiers and monuments

    to German freedom fighters he chose to

    support the German WARS OF LIBERATION. During

    the following years his paintings became increasingly

    melancholic and gloomy. He protested

    against the reactionary restoration of the monarchy

    in Prussia in a painting of an ice-encrusted

    ship named Hope (1822). Earlier, Friedrich had

    come to feel that human beings were insignificant

    in the awesomeness of nature. In 1816 Friedrich

    became a member of the Dresden Academy,

    which provided him with a steady income that

    allowed him to marry in 1818. He was able to live

    a more fashionable life and wore the three-cornered

    hat symbolic of German nationalism. His

    fame inspired the Russian czarevitch to purchase

    several of his paintings in 1820. Because of his

    critical political attitudes and official criticisms of

    his art, his popularity declined. Enduring a

    depressed emotional state, he painted only watercolors

    between 1824 and 1826. As his mental and

    physical health declined, he experienced a stroke

    in 1835 and never again painted in oils. After

    1837 he sketched only owls and gravestones,

    went insane, and died in DRESDEN during 1840.

    Except by a few friends, his subjective and emotional

    art was forgotten. It was rediscovered in the

    20th century with the advent of EXPRESSIONISM.

    At first imitative, Friedrich gradually developed

    his own style, rendering spacious landscapes

    populated by lonely figures and historic

    ruins. Friedrich thought that humans were part

    of nature like the trees in the scenes around

    them, so the motifs of his paintings usually

    showed individuals with their backs turned, set

    in dramatic but purely imaginative landscapes.

    Departing from the late 18th-century classical

    style of Carl Wilhelm Kolbe, Friedrichs Woman

    Friedrich, Caspar David 399

    with Spiders Web presented a female figure in the

    midst of dense vegetation, intended to be a

    metaphor for confronting the divine. The

    womans pose and gesture illustrated the drama

    of the self facing the universe, a suspension

    between life and mortality. For Friedrich and his

    fellow romantics nature was, as the philosopher

    Friedrich Schelling believed, the spirit made visible

    and art was the means of making the finite

    infinite. Friedrich believed that all of nature and

    the human soul, in fact art, philosophy, literature,

    and science were unified and gave expression

    to the world spirit (Weltgeist). The romantic

    writers had convinced him that art must have

    its source in mans inner being; yet, it must be

    dependent on a moral or religious value. Art,

    he thought, should be a mediator between man

    and the mystical sources in nature and should

    elevate spiritual awareness. Believing that present

    religions were passing away, he expected

    the future would bring a nondogmatic religious

    truth. In this light his painting Cross in the Mountains

    depicted a crucifix on a mountain illuminated

    by the setting sun, which represented

    mans continuing faith and hope in Jesus Christ

    despite the decline of institutional religion.

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