Caspar David Friedrich was a German painter who is known as the most typical representative of German romantic painting. He studied at the academy in Copenhagen from 1794 to 1798, and then settled in Dresden. His association with the painter Otto Runge, other leading figures in German Romanticism and the Norwegian JC Dahl with his realistic view of the landscape was decisive for his development as an artist.
Friedrich used landscape painting to express moods. He based himself on memories, but the representations were nevertheless factual and based on a thorough study of reality. The motifs were often simple, but stylized with great impact and atmosphere. The powerful, pure nature was supposed to symbolize holidays and devotion and bear the promise of a good and divine government. His first major work, an altarpiece, shows a crucifix on a mountain top (1808). This was probably the first time a landscape image was used for such an application. Friedrich's use of color was sober, yet nicely nuanced. He was of great importance to JC Dahl and to contemporary German art, but nevertheless he was long forgotten.
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