Cordula Grewe

  • Caspar David Friedrich

    “THE WORLD MUST BE ROMANTICIZED,” the young German poet Novalis exclaimed in 1798. It was a call to give “the ordinary an elevated meaning, the commonplace a mysterious aspect, the familiar the dignity of the unfamiliar, the finite an appearance of infinity.” For Caspar David Friedrich (1774–1840), this ambition—to bring forth the invisible from the visible—defined the highest mission of art. His unswerving pursuit of this goal established him as the quintessential German Romantic painter. A retrospective opening this month at the Folkwang Museum in Essen, Germany, investigates not only Friedrich’s