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Mountain in the Rising Fog

Caspar David Friedrich German

Not on view

From the forested slopes in the foreground our gaze travels to the majestic sweep of the mountains beyond. Friedrich, the preeminent painter of the German Romantic movement, imbued this landscape with symbolic meaning, placing the summit at a remove that evokes a tranquil, timeless realm. On a hiking tour in Bohemia in 1808 he had sketched the Kaltenberg and the nearby peaks; nearly three decades later he transformed the untouched natural beauty of this region to visualize a journey from the earthly to the spiritual. Probably while working on this painting, Friedrich suffered a debilitating stroke that paralyzed his right hand, which may explain why he was unable to complete the work. It is not easy to read the artist’s intent in the foreground, where the negative space between the trees seems to be unpainted and traces of underdrawing are visible.

Mountain in the Rising Fog, Caspar David Friedrich (German, Greifswald 1774–1840 Dresden), Oil on canvas

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