Caspar David Friedrich was born in 1774. Like no other painter, he epitomised the Romanticism that was so popular in his time. Like his contemporaries, he had a strong penchant for the fantastic and dreamlike. He also had a special love of nature and unspoilt landscapes. His most famous painting "The Wanderer above the Sea of Fog" is the best example of this: it shows a young man standing high above the sea of fog and looking down into the valley at a landscape invented by the painter. The focus here is not on reality, but on an idealised world.
Germany will celebrate its great painter in 2024. Special exhibitions, theatre performances, trips and many other events will be offered in the anniversary year.
There will be a large number of events in Greifswald, his birthplace, in particular. To mark the 250th anniversary of his birth, the city has invited artists from all over Germany to take part in a competition to make reference to the life and work of the painter using classic printmaking techniques. A jury selected 250 works from the entries, including Karin Stumpf with her work "Self-portrait in front of the setting sun".
It is a multi-coloured linocut in the lost print technique. The picture shows the artist taking photographs in front of a modern cityscape with a setting sun. The work is a homage to C.D. Friedrich's work "Woman in front of a setting sun", in which a woman appears to merge with the landscape.
In addition to the exact dimensions of the original, the work also adopts some elements of the original, exaggerates them, adds to the image and develops the original ideas further in order to transfer them into the twenty-first century.
The passive figure of the woman is replaced in the linocut by the artist, who actively absorbs the image and captures it with her mobile phone. The old German clothing is replaced by contemporary jeans and T-shirts. The artist now takes photos (or are they selfies?) of the landscape.
The landscape has also changed a lot since C.D. Friedrich's time. The mountains in the background are still visible. The picture now emphasises more strongly the destructive and dominant position of man in nature. In the last 200 years, man has made his mark as its ruler. The picture shows how man no longer plays a passive role, but actively changes his environment. The work is thought-provoking.