Let’s Take a Vacay
Moonrise Over the Sea by Caspar David Friedrich – 22” x 28”, oil on canvas, 1822
Art can transport you to another time and place. Getting lost in a work, exploring all that the artist has given thought and attention to, can sooth the soul. I find it helps me collect myself. While I miss being able to visit museums and galleries now, the world’s art collections are widely available online and it does me good to explore.
Friedrich is a favorite artist of mine. His works are referred to as religious landscape icons. Friedrich uniquely infused his landscapes with spiritual meaning. Below is the museum’s explanation text for this painting.
Like its companion piece, the evening picture of the diptych was painted in 1822. In Moonrise on the Seashore, Friedrich took up one of his favorite themes. In the reflected light of the night sky, it is as though the surface of the water begins to glow all of its own accord, taking up the light of heaven, as it were. Clouds have come up and the round shape of the full moon is half hidden behind the banks of cloud at the horizon. This means that the moonlight does not fall evenly but seems to be breaking out of a gateway in the clouds, creating a magical play of light. Complementary colours, ranging from golden to whitish yellow, violet and blue, define the contrasts of light and shade. There is a sense of the magnitude and unity of the universe. Moved by this wonder of nature, three people sit on rounded rocks near the shore, and their dark silhouettes heighten the effect of the gleaming light of the sky and the sea. Two sailing ships pursue a ghostly course across the water. The sublime drama with the moon as the symbol of hope is imbued with a quality of unearthly beauty. — from the Alte Nationalgalerie, Staatliche Museen zu Berlin
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