Casper David Friedrich Contemplates Solitude
Letter to his wife, Karoline, Dresden, 10th July, 1822
If I were to describe to you in every detail all the things I have said and done the whole day long you would receive as my letter a huge sheet of blank paper.
Everything is quiet, quiet, quietness all around me; this quietness is doing me good, but I would not like to have it round me to such a high degree all the time. I eat my breakfast alone. I have lunch and supper alone, and always alone; it does me good but I would not wish to have it this way all the time.
In the evenings I go out into the fields and furrows with the blue sky and the green shoots and trees beside me, and then I am not alone; for He who created heaven and earth surrounds me…
Friedrich was a German Romantic painter of dramatic and poetic scenes. He valued his meditative life but as a human being, he longed for times of easy company, as is our nature to do so. His work is full of contemplation. Contemplation of nature, its moods, its power and its sublimity.
The painter should paint not only what he has in front of him, but also what he sees inside himself.