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  • The Wanderer Above the Sea of Fog (c. 1818)
  • Sea of IcePolar Sea, or The Wreck of Hope (c. 1823 - 1824)
  • Abbey Among the Oaks (c. 1809 - 1810)
  • Landscape with Grave, Coffin, and Owl(c. 1836)
  • Portrait of Caspar David Friedrich by Gerhard von Kugelgen (c. 1810 - 1820) 

On this day, two hundred and thirty-nine years ago, Caspar David Friedrich first took breath from the Earth on the Baltic coast of Germany. It seems that since that day, every single moment of his life was dedicated to returning that gift of life and exuberance back to the world. Few men can say they appreciated the natural visage of the world with such intensity, and few could quell their souls by the veracity of the wilderness alone. 

Friedrich was among the German Romantic landscape painters, and every single stroke he placed was to unravel and intensify each breeze, each cloaked dryad, and each cataract’s choir. He was a man convinced that the spirit of his God lies within the sheen of each leaf, and the guiding Holy Spirit of his faith was visible through every ray of light piercing the morning fog. 

In brutal conservation of words to which the very Romanticism he was inspired by abhorred, his art was simply fantastic. His spirited aesthetic scenery reinvigorates some visceral desire to experience every shadow and every parcel depicted in his work. The titles of his work were usually literal (if he assigned the work a title at all), relying instead on the obvious glory of every square inch of the canvas to speak of his tangled knot of religious, secular, and humanist beauty. Thank you, Friedrich, for epitomizing the heart of Romanticism. He is one of many men and women I attempt to emulate in my writing, and I thank him for accentuating my passion through his. 

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