Most landscapes of Frederick have a symbolic overtones. Typically, the artist will transform the source material in such a way that the finished scene looks unrealistic. True, in some cases Friedrich depicts places or events as extremely naturalistic. To works of this kind is the dramatic picture “Shipwreck in the Arctic,” the plot for which was, apparently, the polar expedition of Sir William Parry. However, behind the naturalism of the scene, one can easily guess the idea of frailty and the vainness of human ambitions.