Eastern Coast of Rügen Island with Shepherd, ca. 1805–6
Caspar David Friedrich (German, 1774–1840)
Sepia–colored ink, sepia–colored wash, white gouache, and graphite on off–white wove paper; 24 1/4 x 39 in. (61.6 x 99 cm)
Purchase, several members of the Chairman's Council Gifts and Fletcher Fund, and Promised Gift of Leon D. and Debra R. Black, 2002 (2002.260)
Caspar David Friedrich's landscapes combine close observation of nature with, especially as his career progressed, a pervasive Romanticism. This large-scale, painterly drawing is one of a series Friedrich carried out before taking up oil painting. The view is based on drawings made on the island of Rügen in the Baltic Sea, not far from Greifswald, the artist's birthplace. A solitary human figure contemplating the expanse of nature would be a recurring theme in his oeuvre.