KERSTING, Georg Friedrich
(b. 1785, Güstrow, d. 1847, Meissen)

Caspar David Friedrich in his Studio

c. 1812
Oil on canvas, 51 x 40 cm
Alte Nationalgalerie, Berlin

When in 1812 Georg Friedrich Kersting painted his Dresden friend and fellow landscape painter Caspar David Friedrich, he sought a pictorial equivalent for the artist's creativity. Friedrich was known for his visionary imagination, which Kersting emphasized by depicting him at work in a studio cut off from the external world. In this bare room the painter has his back to the window, its shutters open to admit only enough light for him to work. More striking still is Friedrich's isolation: this is a landscape painter who does not look outwards at nature but works instead to the dictates of his inner self, transforming his experiences and recollections into works of art.

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