On the sailboat by Kaspar David Friedrich

On the sailboat by Kaspar David Friedrich

January 21, 1818 German romantic artist Caspar David Friedrich surprised everyone. Already elderly and lonely, feeling himself alone with nature, usually closed, even harsh and only in the company of his closest friends, becoming contagiously cheerful and cordial, he unexpectedly married Caroline Bommer. “How much changed in my life when I switched from” I “to” We “!” Exclaimed Friedrich in one of his letters: “My old, simple house has become completely unrecognizable, clean and cozy, and I can not get enough of it.” Not only the house has changed. Always gay Carolina,

which no one has ever seen in a bad mood, surprisingly knew how to calm a quick-tempered and impulsive artist. Happiness in love brought happiness and creativity: 1818 was one of the most fruitful in the life of Frederick.

A light ship sails on the sea. A man and a woman are sitting on his nose, they are holding hands, and their eyes are fixed on the horizon, where the spiers and houses of the city already appeared. This picture was written right after the wedding trip of the Friedrich couple to the island of RĂ¼gen in the Baltic Sea, which the artist loved so much. And because it is considered as the rarest in his work of a reflection of a particular event, and in the figures see the romanticized portraits of Frederick and Caroline. This is partly true, but only partly. After all, Frederick never “tormented” the viewer with the exact copying of nature: he who dares to “take on the role of the Creator, but in reality is only a fool.” He always drew what was revealed to his inner gaze, he strove to convey the deep and strong feelings that were born in his heart, feeling in all the presence of God. “Try to close your bodily sight,” he wrote to one of the disciples, “first of all to see the future picture with a spiritual gaze, and then illuminate it with an inner light that will help you see in the dark and separate the essence of the object from its external manifestations” Piously adhered to this rule.

Friedrich loved mountain tops and spruce, snow whirlwinds and storms, but especially – the sea and ships… And all these images, seen by the artist’s spiritual eyes, revived on canvas due to his naturalistic manner and talking about the relationship between the soul and God, can not be fully understood only with physical eyes. The composition of the painting “On a sailboat” is unexpected for the beginning of the XIX century: the lower edge of the canvas cuts the deck, and we seem to be on the sailboat and even feel its movement – thanks to the easy roll of the mast. Almost all of his characters draw Friedrich from the back – and invites the viewer to take their place. Contemplators in his paintings – it’s always our twins, it’s always us. But the rear posing of figures is not only symbolic: if the character turned to us, we would undertake to consider it – handsome, not handsome, what is dressed,

A woman and a man do not look at each other – they are united by love, they look in one direction. The outlines of the city just showed up in the dawn mist. He is also not accidental: “The terrain, enveloped in fog,” Frederick once wrote, “seems wider, more exalted, it sharpens the imagination, we look forward to something.” expects and which is just beginning. And together with them we also direct our eyes to the beautiful city on the horizon and look forward to the beginning of a new stage in our destiny… Svetlana Obukhova.

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