Caspar David Friedrich

Johannes Grave

This isn’t so much a book as it is an artefact. Beautiful and intimate, this text offers a profound overview of Friedrich’s oeuvre. The opening quote “A Painting must stand as a painting, made by human hand; not seek to disguise itself as Nature” perfectly summarises Friedrich’s understanding of space and time.

The reproductions are stunning, and provide a detailed survey of Friedrich’s interpretation of the natural world. A compelling feature of this book is its reproduction of Friedrich’s textures, in works such as Two Men by the Sea at Moonrise (1817) and Morning (1820/21). Grave’s critical and insightful commentary celebrates Friedrich’s approach to landscape painting, addressing his modern critics whilst shedding new light on this artist’s work.

Published at a time when landscape painting (apart from Hockney) is in relative decline, this book incites a rediscovery of the form. It calls for a greater appreciation of the genre, and in an art historical context, this text makes a significant contribution to understanding the artist.

Shirley Stevenson