Wanderer above the Sea of Fog  

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Wanderer above the Sea of Fog (1818) by Caspar David Friedrich
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Wanderer above the Sea of Fog (1818) by Caspar David Friedrich

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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.
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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.

Wanderer above the Sea of Fog (also known as Wanderer Above the Mist) is an 1818 oil-on-canvas painting by the German Romantic artist Caspar David Friedrich.

The work depicts a man, Friedrich himself, standing atop a high mountain, before a great mass of fog. Peaks of other mountains can be seen above the surface of the fog, while a range of huge mountains can be seen in the background. The large expanse of sky above the heights of the mountains in the background covers much of the painting.

Analysis

The painting is different from many other works of the time for although one could argue it has portrait qualities: with a central male figure, but in this case the subject has his back to the painter and is more a witness to nature's majesticness rather than the focal point of the painting. The artwork is created with the generic conventions of both romantic and landscape conventions in mind. The work, in this way, was not different to many of Friedrich's other works; he appeared to be quite attracted to the idea of seeing and experiencing nature in isolated and wondrous places: at the edge of the sea or lakes, on the pinnacles of mountains, or at the ridge of waterfalls.

Later on in Friedrich's painting career, his captivation by the idea that self-expression was to be bonded with physical and spiritual isolation became more apparent, awesome in magnitude, yet still sublime.

Friedrich's interest in nature is clearly evidenced in many of his other works. Examples include his Chalk Cliffs on Rügen, painted in 1818, which portrays a man standing, and a woman seated, looking out, while another man on his hands and knees looks over the ledge of a vast and high-reaching slope leading down to an endless ocean. Another example of this can be found in Friedrich's The Sea of Ice, which depicts, in the foreground, a large mass of ruins, and, in the middle and background, similar piles of ruins, numerous in number, littering what appears to be a frozen, icy landscape.





Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Wanderer above the Sea of Fog" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on original research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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