Caspar David Friedrich

Caspar David Friedrich

  1. Werner Hofmann
  • ISBN 9780500092958
  • 31.00 x 25.50 cm
  • Hardback
  • 300pp
  • 193 Illustrations, 150 in colour
  • First published 2001
‘Excellent’ – Art Review
An attractive and thoughtful introduction to Friedrich, Dr Hofmann’s monograph is a rich lode of ideas and perceptions on this compelling painter’ – The Art Newspaper
‘Werner Hofmann instructively relates the paintings to Friedrich’s life and times. His text is elegant and clear and the works are beautifully reproduced … the best book about this fascinating artist that I’ve ever read’ – Frank Whitford
‘A beautifully illustrated survey … a real eye-opener’ – Time Out

Caspar David Friedrich, now viewed as the leading German Romantic artist of the nineteenth century, was described by one contemporary as the pioneer of a new genre: ‘the tragedy of landscape.’

Here, Werner Hofmann considers Friedrich’s principal achievement, the invention of ‘landscape as icon’, and vividly demonstrates the artist’s extraordinary ability to reproduce the natural world in faithful detail, while at the same time imbuing it with spiritual and religious significance.

Carefully placing the artist in a wider context, Hofmann examines contemporary judgments and influences on Friedrich’s work and his difficult relationship with critics such as Goethe, as well as the way that his religious and political beliefs informed his art, and his unique place within the framework of European Romanticism as a whole.

The beautiful illustrations include many of Friedrich’s drawings and watercolours as well as over ninety of his works in oils.

Friedrich extended an invitation for others to read multiple meanings into his pictures. Hofmann’s ideas cast a remarkable new light on Friedrich’s work, yet at the same time leave it open to individual interpretation.

Werner Hofmann was born in Vienna. He was Director of the Kunsthalle, Hamburg, from 1969 to 1990 and has also held guest professorships at Berkeley, Columbia and Harvard universities. He has published numerous books on the art of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries.