Wanderer above the Sea of Fog by Caspar David Friedrich

The Wanderer Above The Mists 1817 18

You will be mistaken if you think that Romanticism is only limited to literature. There are many prominent artists who amplified the Romantic Movement in Germany and Casper David Friedrich is one of them. His painting Der Wanderer über dem Nebelmeer or Wanderer above the Sea of Fog or Wanderer Above the Mist is oen of the most remarkable paintings. It is essential to study the painting in order to understand the nature of the artistic movement. It was painted circa 1818. The painting is currently kept in Hamburg, Germany.

Description of the Painting

The oil painting is quite simplistic when you look at it; however, there is something sublime about it when you look closer. The painting has a contrasting palette – there is a dark black color on the forefront and a light, ethereal, white color on the background. Creating a separation between these two colors situates a man who is standing on the rocky hill top and staring the infinite abyss. There are mountains emerging from the clouds in the background.

What does it Symbolize?

The painting symbolizes the infinite capacity of human beings. It shows the man in relation and in close contact with the vast nature around him. This was the principle idea of romanticism. All the romantic artists sought to establish the infinite possibilities that human beings have and their association with the nature. They also focused on the mysteries and the beauty of the nature. The mist surrounding the mountains is symbolic of the mysteries and the vast unknown aspects of nature. Therefore, this painting is considered to be one of the markers of the Romantic period in Europe.

Wanderer above the Sea of Fog

Why Makes This Painting Special?


Sublimity is something that is more than beautiful. This painting evokes a feeling of awe. You will note a sense of danger that the abyss and the mountain top produces, yet there is a sense of beauty. This painting is therefore truly sublime. It makes you awe-struck.

It Produces a Calming Effect

The white, cloudy background of the painting produces a very calming effect as well. If you look at it for a long time, you would feel that your mind is floating and calm. The lighter colors and the painted clouds calm the mind and reduce stress. Therefore, if you keep looking at them for quite a long time, you will fall into a serene mood.

Historical Artifact

This painting actually falls into the category of historical artifact as it actually belongs to early 19th century. It is a representative painting of the Romantic movement which is one of the most celebrated literary and artistic movements of all times. This has not only artistic value but also historical value.

Keeping paintings such as these at home not only extends the beauty of the interior, but also displays taste and knowledge of the inhabitants. The contrasting color palette of this painting makes it centre of attraction wherever you place it.

Museum quality oil painting reproduction of Wanderer above the Sea of Fog is available at Outpost Art.


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