Art of the Day: Sea of Ice/Wreck of the Hope

Submitted by Evelyn Kiefer on Wed, 02/07/2007 - 02:32.

I am posting this in response to Jeff's insightful comments on that warm, colorful painting from SoCal. Your are right, few artists seem to paint the north and south poles. And who would blame them? It must be hard to paint wearing mittens! Caspar David Friedrich (1774-1840), a German painter was one of the exceptions and among works depicting the arctic, this is the best I know. This work depicts a shipwreck (famous in its time), the tiny vessel being crushed in the ice. I am not sure how exactly Friedrich created it, I assume most of the work was done in the studio. But, I imagine him being there, standing on the ice-- the sole surviver -- in awe of nature's power and man's insignificance. For many who saw it in the 19th century, before photography became more widely used, it must have been their first glimpse of that part of the world. It never fails, I alway shiver when I see The Wreck of the Hope.

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