Friday, July 2, 2010

Emotional Response to Nature

It is written that as a young man Caspar David Friedrich felt a spiritual connection to nature. However the church rejected his art as having emotional ties to a "material" world. His painting The Cross in the Mountains painted for a church altar was criticized for allowing nature to "sneak into the church." It seems ultimately fitting to me that his paintings below show a broken church enveloped by nature, even the snow catches the architecture and makes it beautiful in it's ruin.
Years after his death the Nazi's used his German landscapes to promote nationalist pride, causing his work to once again be rejected by the main stream. Only as recently as the 1970's has his art been again viewed with appreciation for own substance rather than through the distorted lenses of political or religious powers.

 Caspar David Friedrich - Monk in the Snow

"The artist should paint not only what he sees before him, but also what he sees within him. If, however, he sees nothing within him, then he should also refrain from painting that which he sees before him."     Caspar David Friedrich

Caspar David Friedrich - The Abbey in the Oakwood

Found via iGoogle's Art of the Day widget. More by this artist at Wikiemdia - Caspar David Friedrich

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