Wanderer above the Sea of Fog

Oil painting by Caspar David Friedrich / From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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Wanderer above the Sea of Fog[lower-alpha 1] is a painting by German Romanticist artist Caspar David Friedrich made in 1818.[2] It depicts a man standing upon a rocky precipice with his back to the viewer; he is gazing out on a landscape covered in a thick sea of fog through which other ridges, trees, and mountains pierce, which stretches out into the distance indefinitely.

Quick facts: Wanderer above the Sea of Fog, Artist, Year, ...
Wanderer above the Sea of Fog
German: Der Wanderer über dem Nebelmeer
ArtistCaspar David Friedrich
MediumOil on canvas
Dimensions94.8 cm × 74.8 cm (37.3 in × 29.4 in)
LocationHamburger Kunsthalle, Hamburg

It has been considered one of the masterpieces of the Romantic movement and one of its most representative works. The painting has been widely interpreted as an emblem of self-reflection or contemplation of life's path, and the landscape is widely considered to evoke the sublime. Friedrich was a common user of Rückenfigur (German: Rear-facing figure) in his paintings; Wanderer above the Sea of Fog is perhaps the most famous Rückenfigur in art due to the subject's prominence. The painting has also been interpreted as an expression of Friedrich's German liberal and nationalist feeling.

While Friedrich was respected in German and Russian circles, Wanderer above the Sea of Fog and Friedrich's work in general were not immediately regarded as masterpieces. Friedrich's reputation improved in the early 20th century, and in particular during the 1970s; Wanderer became particularly popular, appearing as an example of "popular art" as well as high culture on books and other works. The provenance of the artwork after its creation is unknown, but by 1939 was on display in the gallery of Wilhelm August Luz in Berlin, and was acquired by the Hamburger Kunsthalle in Hamburg, Germany in 1970 where it has been displayed ever since.