Tuesday, 7 August 2012

A phone image / a painted image

Worth bearing in mind my phone made this image whilst walking the cliffs of Kernow the other week. ('My phone made this image'? 'I made this image with my phone'? More small but big stuff to consider there, especially when I'm going to be thinking about craftspeople and their tools.)

Put me in mind of a favourite, (Caspar David Friedrich's Wanderer above the Sea of Fog, 1818), and they seem to be friends.


Caspar David Friedrich came of age during a period when, across Europe, a growing disillusionment with materialistic society was giving rise to a new appreciation of spirituality. This shift in ideals was often expressed through a reevaluation of the natural world, as artists such as Friedrich, J.M.W. Turner (1775–1851) and John Constable (1776–1837) sought to depict nature as a "divine creation, to be set against the artifice of human civilization".

Friedrich’s work brought him renown early in his career, and contemporaries such as the French sculptor David d'Angers (1788–1856) spoke of him as a man who had discovered "the tragedy of landscape". Nevertheless, his work fell from favour during his later years, and he died in obscurity, and in the words of the art historian Philip Miller, "half mad". As Germany moved towards modernisation in the late 19th century, a new sense of urgency characterised its art, and Friedrich’s contemplative depictions of stillness came to be seen as the products of a bygone age.

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