Casper David Friedrich
One would not be far off the mark by claiming that Casper David Friedrich’s oeuvre encapsulates the DNA of German romanticism. While his paintings are inextricably hardwired to the German psyche and books on CDF are manifold, Johannes Grave’s tackles the theme from an interesting new angle as he connects the artistic emissions with Friedrich’s biography and thereby skillfully contextualizes the works of one of the most prominent representatives of pre-modernism.
With his background as the Associate Director at the Centre Allemand d’Histoire de l’Art in Paris, Grave’s insightful approach offers a different view and substantiates his expositions with facts and not falling prey to the notion that he would be able to decipher the enigmas and mysticism that lay buried at their core.
As Friedrich’s work got progressively darker and apocalyptic, Grave outlines it as a haunting omen – Friedrich seems to have become acutely aware of the gloom and doom he was to encounter and the fact that he rarely left the confines of his studio and mainly painted by relying on his imagination and memory adds another dimension to the weight of his paintings and elevates his unique status even further.
The tome is opulently, impressively and comprehensively illustrated, with many reproductions that are not part of previous monographs on Friedrich, an artist who perfectioned the art of making transcendent illusions feel like reality and vice versa.
If your library cannot do without a book on an otherwordly artist this is the one to get.