20 de julho de 2011

Caspar David Friedrich - The Stages of Life

                                                        The Stages of Life - 1835
Museum der Bildenden Kunste - Leipzig - Germany

Casper David Friedrich the leading artist of the German Romantic Movement , translated his melancholy temperament into some of history’s most masterful landscapes. Friedrich painted the Stages of Life when he was sixty-one, five years before his death. Tough it was a pastiche of sketches he had made during different travels in his youth, “The Stages of Life” was an anomaly in his oeuvre because it was a painting of an imaginary location. The recognizable geographical references in the work are all highly personal and the landscape serves almost as an autobiography for the deeply introspective artist. The main body of the painting appears loosely based on the harbor of Greifswald where he was born, in the north of Germany. Five ships are depicted at various distances in the water. They symbolically represent the passing of life. On the shore, an old man stands in the foreground facing toward the water and it is assumed that he is Friedrich at the time of the painting. Nearby stands a young man in a top hat, modeled after his nephew, who in this context represents maturaty. Playing beyond them both is a graceful young girl, modeled after his eldest daughter, who represents youth, and portraits of his two youngest children playing with a Swedish flag, who represent childhood. The mast of the central ship forms a crucifix, a sign of Friedrich’s deep faith, yet tranquil, luminous, poetic painting is not filled with redemptive hope, or the yearning for heaven after death, but with the bittersweet awareness that mortal life is precious and passes quickly. In keeping with the Romantic ideals of the time, Friedrich intended his paintings to function purely in visual terms, and thus he was cautious that the titles given to his work were not overly descriptive or evocative. It is likely that the relatively literal title “The Stages of Life” was not given by the artist himself, but that the work was instead renamed during a revival of interest in the artistin the late 19th or early 20th century.
Source: Wikipedia, Ann Hildyard, net

Sem comentários: