Caspar David Friedrich A–Z

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Author: Barbara Hess Graphic Design: Torsten Köchlin German 2023, 120 Pages, 38 Ills. Hardcover 202mm x 135mm
ISBN: 978-3-7757-5566-5
| On the Contemplation of Nature

One of his generation’s most popular artists, German Romantic painter Caspar David Friedrich is known for his allegorical landscapes that convey a deep sense of contemplation and melancholy. 2024 marks the 250th anniversary of the birth of this outstanding artist, whose paintings continue to gain in topicality–hardly a discussion on climate change without one of his iconic paintings, such as The Sea of Ice, being invoked as a silent witness. Barbara Hess examines the painter’s work and his life, from its lasting poignancy to the great themes of Romanticism and drawing. In the playful format of an A–Z book, the author takes us on a timely journey, showing how new views and perspectives can be gained from what has long been thought familiar.

This book is also available in English.

CASPAR DAVID FRIEDRICH (1774-1840) is the most important artist of the German Romantic period. Born in Greifswald, then part of the Kingdom of Sweden, he studied drawing at the Academy of Fine Arts in Copenhagen, before settling in Dresden in 1798. His compositions are visualizations of emotional landscapes that create an instant of sublimity. His works elude lucidity and have therefore continuously been open to new interpretations. 

Art historian BARBARA HESS (*1964) has published works on avant-garde galleries, Abstract Expressionism, the documenta, Lucio Fontana and Jasper Johns, among others. Most recently, she has co-edited the diary of the German post-war avant-garde artist HP Zimmer, published this spring by Hatje Cantz.