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

Landscape with Pavilion

c. 1797
Pen, ink and watercolour, 167 x 217 mm
Kunsthalle, Hamburg

In 1794 Friedrich went to study at the highly-regarded Copenhagen Academy. He drew plaster casts of classical sculptures and studied Dutch landscape painting in the art galleries of the Danish metropolis.

Of the few drawings, watercolours and gouaches that survive from Friedrich's Copenhagen period, a number already reveal a sensitive eye for nature. Landscape with Pavilion, a watercolour drawing which arose around 1797, shows a motif from a landscape garden near Copenhagen. The nervous line and the pastel palette remain somewhat reminiscent of the Rococo. The subject testifies to the emotional emphasis which had always been associated in Europe with the English landscape garden and which, in the years 1779-1785, was explored in particular in Danish gardens by the garden architect C. C. L. Hirschfeld.

As the atmospheric expression of a sentimental love of nature, the English landscape garden numbered amongst the sources of inspiration for many pre-Romantic and Romantic currents in Europe.