Caspar David Friedrich
and the Harbingers of Romanticism
26 August – 19 November 2023 | Reinhart am Stadtgarten
The exhibition highlight of the year promises to be the comprehensive show on the most important painter of German Romanticism: Caspar David Friedrich (1774-1840). It is the first ever major museum exhibition on the artist in Switzerland and one of the most ambitious projects in the history of the museum. One year before his 250th birthday, the exhibition examines the influences of 17th and 18th century art on his epochal work and thus presents itself in a double sense as a “harbinger” of the anniversary.
Hardly any other artist of the Romantic period has been interpreted in so many ways and discussed so controversially as Caspar David Friedrich – but there was always agreement that he was the great innovator of landscape painting. However, little attention has been paid to the question of the traditions in which Friedrich moved.
The exhibition now traces this aspect of the historical origins of Friedrich’s painting and his new approach to landscape, which has received little attention to date. Thus, outstanding representatives of early mood painting such as Jacob van Ruisdael and Claude Lorrain will enter into dialogue with Friedrich’s masterpieces. The landscape painters of the 18th century also created foundations for Friedrich and his contemporaries. In particular, the discovery of Saxon Switzerland as a painterly motif by the Paris-trained Swiss Adrian Zingg played a decisive role.
In an exciting comparison with these pioneers of Romanticism, Caspar David Friedrich’s oeuvre is revealed from new perspectives – and at the same time makes his outstanding talent and independent contribution to art all the more clear.
The exhibition is a collaboration with the Museum Georg Schäfer in Schweinfurt.
Curator: David Schmidhauser
With kind support