FRIEDRICH, Caspar David
(b. 1774, Greifswald, d. 1840, Dresden)

Moonrise by the Sea

c. 1821
Oil on canvas, 135 x 170 cm
The Hermitage, St. Petersburg

In the 1820s and 1830s, the Russian court purchased a number of works by Friedrich at the suggestion of the poet and state councillor Zhukovsky. These included the beautiful, large-format Moonrise by the Sea, which is dated fairly unanimously to around 1821. A contemporary description of the painting says that two men have clambered across the rocks a long way out into the shallows and appear to be waiting for a ship. Their two female companions are seated more in the foreground. Two massive anchors take the place of vegetation, which is here reduced simply to some saltwater plants.

Suggested listening (streaming mp3, 4 minutes):
Franz Schubert: Auf Dem Wasser Zu Singen (To Be Sung On The Water), Franz Liszt's transcription