The figure of a wanderer in an untamed natural setting personified restless yearning for the German Romantics. Man’s loneliness and nature’s transience, themes clearly stated in this picture, find direct parallels in the works of the painter Caspar David Friedrich and the composer Franz Schubert, notably his song cycle Die Winterreise, or Winter Journey (1827).
Inscription: Dated (lower left): 1835.
Franz Ulrich Appelt, Zittau (until d. 1944); by descent through his family (1944–2007; sold through Thomas Le Claire, Hamburg, to MMA)
Sabine Rewald in "Recent Acquisitions, A Selection: 2007–2008." Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin 66 (Fall 2008), p. 36, ill (color), comments that the painting is "suffused with the melancholy of autumn, both as season in nature and of the cycle of life"; notes the influence of Friedrich.