Friday, October 24, 2008


Abbey in the Oakwood 1808-10
Caspar David Friedrich oil on canvas
Berlin, Nationalgalerie, Staaliche Museen zu Berlin.

This late post is not late due to my own laziness! My internet is being horribly weird. Sat down to find me a great Friedrich painting and the wireless did not want to assist in that endeavor.

Anyway, here I am and here is a gorgeous painting by Caspar David Freidrich. I went from a love of shoes in art to my love of trees. Most specifically I am fascinated by bare, leafless trees, branches imbued with a stark and rich life all their own. While I am still struggling with my own artwork, one of the things that always places me into a creative state is looking at trees and branches (in life and in art). Even in the bright blue sky of day, seeing strips of branch across the sky holds for me an underlying edge that I am having trouble giving a word (it's not so far as being sinister, but it surely isn't sweet). Associated with romanticism, Friedrich's landscapes are pretty but delve much deeper than that. Many of them are also executed so beautifully that one might mistake it for a photograph (as I recall a slide of the Sea of Ice doing so in my 19th c. crit class)

"One of the few landscape painters to see both forest and tree, Friedrich found no conflict between the separate splendors of the individual and the collective. That rare pictorial capacity makes his Nature so persuasive and original. " (

As usual, I would like to share more, but an appointment is to pull me away. Enjoy the painting for what it is (or not, it's your aesthetic choice) and I hope to have some concerted efforts for you next week!


johnh said...

I think this painting goes hand in hand with certain literary conventions which were started by Thomas Gray over a quarter of a century before. (Elegy in a Country Church Yard). The influence continued to be felt up through the times of Poe and Lincoln.

Lucy said...

Love this one. Do you have any idea whether and where I could get a print?