Casper David Friedrich
1774-1840

Casper David Friedrich was born in Greifswald, Sweden on September 5 1774. His father was a soap boiler and candle maker, Friedrich started out as a topographical draughtsman moving on to his early art studies in Greifwswald, later he moved on to study in Copenhagen from 1794 where he painted a number of watercolours, then, 1798, he finally settled in Dresden here he becamce more provocative in his work and his natural images were juxtaposed next to catholic images such as monks and gothic buildings.
Friedrich was always seen a shy person by his contemporaries, he was also considered to be a gentle man with a sense of humour who was subject to bouts of melancholy. But as his work fell out of favor later in his life he became embittered. A series of illnesses left him almost paralysed by 1835 this added to his unhappiness and by the end of his life he was only able to paint small sepias as he did at the beginining of his career. And he died in Dresden on May 7th 1840.
Friedrich is considered to be the most important artist of the Romantic period and was known mainly for his silouhettes and his preoccupation with painting nature and exploring symbolism.
Although his work fell out of favour it regained popularity during the rise of Nazism, this was followed by a sharp decline as his work was misinterpreted and seen as nationalistc.
It wasnt until the 1970s his paintings were once again popular.
Notable events in friedrichs life
1805 - awarded a prize by Goethe at the Weimar art exhibition for a pair of sepia paintings
1808 - exhibited a private commision the Cross in the Mountains in his studio. Freiherr von Ramdohr accused Friedrich of sacrilege for making 'landscape creep on the altar'
1816 - elected to the Dresden Academy
1818 - marries Caroline Bommer, the twenty-five years old daughter of a dyer from Dresden. The couple went on to have three children.
1818 - Fredrick William III buys two of his paintings abbey in the oakwood and Monk by the Sea
1835 - suffers his first stroke
1840 - dies at the age of 64.