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Caspar David Friedrich

Caspar David  Friedrich

(1774 - 1840)
Born: Greifswald, Germany
Style: Romanticism
Famous Works:
  • The Wanderer Above the Mists (1817-18)
  • The Sea of Ice (1824)
  • Landscape with Grave, Coffin and Owl (1836-37)
Caspar David Friedrich emerged at the end of the nineteenth century as one of Germany's most gifted Romantic landscape painters. Friedrich spent much of his childhood alone, following the death of his sister, brother, and mother. He took solace in the beauty of nature, and took frequent walks in the countryside. This time communing with the landscape of his homeland formed important roots which would appear later in his artwork. Friedrich traveled to Copenhagen to study at the Academy of Fine Arts, but soon moved to Dresden, where he came in contact with painters, writers, and intellectuals of the Romantic school. His paintings were celebrated by many, including the German poet Goethe. Friedrich studied nature with an eye for accuracy and detail, however, his paintings are not scientific studies. Instead, they are infused with an intense spirituality. His painting Abbey in an Oak Forest, 1809-1810, shows barren and gnarled trees in an ancient cemetery. This meditation on death is solemn, and hushed. Human subjects appearing in Friedrich's work are typically secondary in importance to the environment, serving in many cases to illustrate the vastness and wonder of the natural world. The crown prince of Prussia admired Friedrich's work, and became a patron. Friedrich's prosperity grew even further when he was nominated into the Academy of Berlin and elected into the membership of the Academy of Dresden. Acclaim for Friedrich and his work would not last. Depression was a permanent fixture in Friedrich's life, and while his struggle with the disease undoubtedly inspired many of his important works, it would eventually prove insurmountable. Friedrich's art for the last fourteen years of his life was marked by symbols of death and ruin. He died virtually unknown, and remained so until Symbolists in the nineteenth-century were drawn to his extreme and moody landscapes.
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I use these markers for children's illustrations, and they are wonderful. I do wish there were more color options for colors. I've found the light colors too few, especially when working with skin tones These pens last a very long time and work well with all sorts of papers. The tip options make this a great marker for precision coloring.
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I really like these pencils. I accidentally found a technique that really exemplified the "magic" in them. Rolling the pencil to preserve the point and coloring in a circular motion really brings out the random beauty of the colors in coloring a small petaled flower like a zinnia. I have colored an entire picture with one pencil and gotten raves about it. The biggest drawback I am experiencing is the lack of tutorials to help people understand how to use them. I have seen critiques where the artist did not have a clue how to use them. I have also seen a Russian tutorial that shows a lot of blending techniques that really show some extraordinary effects. I am currently exploring their use for backgrounds. I like the pencils and find them a challenge to explore the "magic."
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