FRIEDRICH, Caspar David
(b. 1774, Greifswald, d. 1840, Dresden)
Moonrise by the Seac. 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.