The Woman with the Spider Web between Bare Trees, 1803. Creator: Caspar David Friedrich (German
The Woman with the Spider Web between Bare Trees, 1803. For Friedrich, landscape was the expression of spirituality and a personal connection with God. By isolating individual objects in this composition and rendering them in specific detail, such as the tree, spider web, and thistles, Friedrich gave them a heightened clarity that destabilizes the familiar and suggests a hidden, sacred significance within organic forms. The viewer's dilemma---deciding upon the meaning and significance of the scene---is echoed by the woman herself who gazes toward the vening sky. Her pose and gesture suggest a searching awareness that evokes melancholy and suspended resolution. Surrounding her are symbols of morality in the barren trees, thistles, a caught fly, and the setting sun. In this woodcut, Friedrich depicted for one of the first times a theme that became a leitmotif, what art historians have called "the drama of the self facing the universe."
© Heritage Art/Heritage Images
Moonrise over the Sea, 1774. Artist: Caspar David Friedrich
Moonrise over the Sea, 1774. A man and two women sit on a rock looking out to sea at two sailing vessels silhouetted against the sky which is lit by the rising Moon
© Ann Ronan Picture Library / Heritage-Images
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