Caspar David Friedrich: Sunburst in the Riesengebirge

Screenshot_2018-11-23 friedrich, caspar david sonnen landscape sotheby's l18102lot9vfl9en
Caspar David Friedrich, (1774 – 1840), German, SONNENBLICK IM RIESENGEBIRGE (SUNBURST IN THE RIESENGEBIRGE), oil on canvas, 25.5 by 31.5cm., 10 by 12½in., Source: Sotheby’s

 

‘…thus it is a great merit, maybe the greatest thing

the artist is capable of, when he touches the spirit

and arouses thoughts, feelings and emotions

in the beholder, even if these are not his own.’

Caspar David Friedrich

Once Lost

Dated from 1820 to the 1830’s, Sunburst in the Riesengebirge by Caspar David Friedrich,”belongs to the seven hitherto unrecorded oils discovered by lawyer and art historian Carl von Lorck (1892-1975) between 1941 and 1943 during his cultural survey of East Prussian noble houses.” 

Sotheby’s continues, otherScreenshot_2018-11-23 friedrich, caspar david sonnen landscape sotheby's l18102lot9vfl9en

“Both in date of execution and compositionally, particularly in its symbolic pictorial vocabulary, it comes close to Friedrich’s Landscape with Mountain Lake, Morning…”

In July 1810 Friedrich took a walking tour with Georg Friedrich Kersting in the Riesengebirge (Giant Mountains). Located south-east of Dresden, the range runs between Silesia and Bohemia, along the border of what are today the Czech Republic and Poland. The experience provided a rich source of inspiration, and the basis for many subsequent works from his career….Of equivalent dimensions, the present work and Mountain Peak with Drifting Clouds also share a common provenance….For over a century both were lost in obscurity in the von Hahn family seat of Schloss Basedow, until their discovery in 1941 by Carl von Lorck. Sotheby’s

6Screenshot_2018-11-23 friedrich, caspar david sonnen landscape sotheby's l18102lot9vfl9en
Caspar David Friedrich, (1774 – 1840), German, SONNENBLICK IM RIESENGEBIRGE (SUNBURST IN THE RIESENGEBIRGE), oil on canvas, 25.5 by 31.5cm., 10 by 12½in., Source: Sotheby’s (detail)

 

Looking for Meaning

The rocky tumbling foreground symbolises the transience of earthly life (the solitary hut a reminder of the smallness of humankind in the face of nature, the dead tree a memento mori), the upright firs the faithful who will inherit eternal life, denoted by the sun-illuminated uplands in the beyond. The brightening sky as a harbinger of divine sanctuary in the face of adversity is a device found throughout Friedrich’s oeuvre, famously in the Eismeer (The Sea of Ice). Friedrich’s aesthetic legacy is a profound one, and can be felt in the landscapes of succeeding generations of artists, from Ferdinand Hodler to Gerhard Richter. Sotheby’s

 

7Screenshot_2018-11-23 friedrich, caspar david sonnen landscape sotheby's l18102lot9vfl9en
Caspar David Friedrich, (1774 – 1840), German, SONNENBLICK IM RIESENGEBIRGE (SUNBURST IN THE RIESENGEBIRGE), oil on canvas, 25.5 by 31.5cm., 10 by 12½in., Source: Sotheby’s (detail)

Of Note

This work has been requested on loan for the 2020–21 exhibition Caspar David Friedrich and the Düsseldorfer Malerschule at the Kunstpalast Düsseldorf and the Museum der bildenden Künste, Leipzig. Sotheby’s

 

Click For Enlarged Detail:

 

Details

  • Caspar David Friedrich (1774 – 1840)
  • GERMAN, Romantic, landscape
  • SONNENBLICK IM RIESENGEBIRGE (SUNBURST IN THE RIESENGEBIRGE)
  • oil on canvas
  • 25.5 by 31.5cm., 10 by 12½in.
  • Source: Sotheby’s

More Information

  • Caspar David Friedrich was a 19th-century German Romantic landscape painter, generally considered the most important German artist of his generation. Wikipedia

 

Thanks for Reading! 🙂

The End

7 Comments Add yours

  1. Thank you for sharing 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Grazie, Claudio – I appreciate your visit! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I never miss it: your blog is very nice 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

      2. You have made my day happy with your kind words. 🙂 I am discovering a world of new music on your blog – each selection unique and a joy to hear. Thank you, Claudio!

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Tanya says:

    beautiful landscape 🙂 never knew about Caspar David Freidrich !

    Liked by 1 person

    1. His paintings make me feel like I could walk right into the scene, but it would be a dream – not real at all – despite familiar bits of nature included. I would like to know more about him. Thanks for commenting, Tanya! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Tanya says:

        Sounds wonderful, some paintings are lively! My pleasure!

        Liked by 1 person

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