Landscape with a withered tree by Kaspar David Friedrich

Landscape with a withered tree by Kaspar David Friedrich

Landscapes of Frederick are filled with symbols. The phases of the moon, the times of the day, architectural forms and, of course, the trees – all this could acquire symbolic significance in his works. The artist often transmitted the finiteness and short duration of human existence with the help of withered trees and broken branches – as, for example, in “Landscape with a withered tree”, ca. 1798, in which the silhouette of the dead tree echoes with the ruins in the background. In the “Ancient burial under the snow,” ca. 1807 withered trees surround the ancient tomb.

Dead

trees in Friedrich’s paintings often coexist with young greenery, which symbolizes the Christian faith in eternal life. And here it is important that the cross on the canvases of Frederick is always surrounded by evergreen plants. The intertwined branches of trees denote the rapprochement of human souls in Friedrich. For example, in the White Rocks on Rugen, trees bent to each other symbolize a happy union of the artist with his wife.

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