It is an oil painting on canvas, approximately 110 x 171 centimeters, and was painted in the 19th century (1809/1810). Paradoxically, the inverted cross has been used as a Christian and, at the same time, anti-Christian icon. Caspar David Friedrich is considered to be one of the most important German Romantic painters. The painting I have chosen is The Abbey in the Oakwood (also called Abbey in the Oak Forest or Abbey among Oak Trees), by Caspar David Friedrich.It was painted between 1809 and 1810 in Dresden and it was first exhibited together with the painting The Monk by the Sea in the Berlin Academy exhibition in 1819. The Abbey in the Oakwood depicts a gloomy and abandoned graveyard surrounding an abandoned abbey in the midst of a dark forest. Because of this, the paintings were immediately exceptionally prone to damage, affecting the paintwork as well as mechanical damage and the results of ageing. landscape. The work of art that I plan to analyze for the second essay is, The history behind the painting that I currently know is somewhat limited, as I know next to nothing about Friedrich as a person and his personal history and perhaps reason for painting, As it was displayed at the Berlin Academy exhibition, perhaps it was painted for the express reason of being shown there. I’ve enjoyed knowing the meaning of the painting and discovering a bit of Friedrich's life and feelings too. Upon the completion of this work in January 2016, the restored works were put on display along with the technical and conservational findings as part of the exhibition The Monk Has Returned (22.1. I really like this piece. If you look through the church you see that it is in fact not a complete church just the front door. Seriously, it's an amazing time (intellectually and otherwise). ephemeral, the spiritual side and the worldly side: the oaks, part of the ( Log Out /  The artist used an old abbey surrounded with shrubs (Friedrich). ( Log Out /  The technical research on Caspar David Friedrich’s painting techniques in particular delivered fascinating and important information on the materials he used and how they have changed, providing a basis for rethinking the colour compositions. This is true and false. work, and the loss of the original substance was noticeable. This grand abbey is now in ruins, and the graveyard really accentuates the fall of man’s structure. There's an open tomb, besides some withered plants. from the two arms or crosspiece of the crucifix. That’s what I love about art, especially as it transgresses through time is that it never changes as do the thoughts they evoke. This painting is Abbey in an Oak Forest by Caspar David Friedrich (1809). review is the artwork which gives its name to the blog: As we have said, the painting shows a clear contrast All these elements combine together to show the finiteness of Empire and the inevitability that any empire will fall. The painting was exhibited with its companion picture, the Monk by the Sea. The work of art that I plan to analyze for the second essay is The Abbey in the Oakwood by the Romantic landscape painter Caspar David Friedrich. Large, discoloured patches of retouching, overpainting and extremely discoloured layers of varnish detracted from the appearance of the paintings as well as further damage caused by transport and lining. In this painting, he combined landscape motifs with religious The religious element and the Hereafter are portrayed by using the Friedrich’s The Abbey in the Oakwood first draws the audience in with the Gothic ruins of an abbey in the middle of the work; the only part of the building remaining is its facade with a large, crumbling lancet window. Those have two functions: On the one hand they are providing basic functionality for this website. A line of monks enters the ruins of the abbey, carrying a coffin past rows of grave markers, though they are small relative to the size of the surrounding nature as well as the abbey’s ruins. Friedrich’s painting is full of the image of the memento mori, the most notable ones being the coffin, the graves, and the abbey itself. Two landscapes in particular were responsible for thrusting Friedrich into the limelight. Because of this, the inverted cross would go down in History as a symbol of the Papacy. The monks are there to bury one of their own and they trudge through the snow to complete their task, and not even the menacing corpse of the abbey nor the gnarled trees will deter them. Friedrich’s The Abbey in the Oakwood is a painting full of the power and terror of nature, as well as its eternalness, but it also shows how human life is temporary in the grand scheme of the universe. In January 2017, a catalogue was published with the same title. This website uses cookies. The moon peeks out behind the curtain of the sky, its crescent shape barely visible and hovering on the right side of the work. Over the abbey, there's a lancet window in disrepair, with many broken grilles and where no glass remains. It’s a very somber piece, with the ruins of a once-great cathedral in a barren oak forest. Caspar David Friedrich Project: Monk by the Sea and The Abbey in the Oakwood: technical analysis, conservation, restoration With Monk by the Sea (1808-1810) and The Abbey in the Oakwood (1809-1810) by Caspar David Friedrich, the Nationalgalerie in Berlin is the custodian of perhaps the most famous pair of paintings from the period of German Romanticism. As a result of this, the painting has been exceptionally prone to damage. Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: You are commenting using your account. I like the questions that you asked and also the fact that you cannot answer. Shrubs create an air of isolation and a desperate mood in the piece of art. While the essential message of the Abbey in the Oak-wood of 1810 is the passing of the earthly life, its fog-bound ruin and blasted, leafless trees inevitably evoked the contemporary state of Germany. What first drew my eye towards this image is the sky and not only its coloring, but the fact that it takes up about half the work itself, which must have significance. There are graves around the ruins, and a line of people are filing through the abbey entrance. Caspar David Friedrich. Anything that is the result of human effort and intervention will inevitably fall, and Empire is not immune to this truth (as stated by the painting). I love the questions you asked at the end of the piece. Thanks for you analysis. From 1906, it endured intensive restoration At first glance, it could convey a feeling of sadness, We could also see the contrast between the eternal and the The abbey is obviously in ruins because some cracks and breaks can be seen on its walls. belief in resting in the Divine mercy after death, by depicting a winter Dualism appears in his landscapes: the body and the soul, the earthly and the spiritual side. The painting is divided into two parts, separated by a horizontal line of fog: the lower part is immersed in the darkness, while the upper part is more illuminated and lighter, representing a sunrise or maybe a sunset. Change ), You are commenting using your Twitter account. Read more. The objectives of these measures were to secure what remains of the original substance, to make the closest possible estimation of the paintings’ original state and to subsequently reconstruct the legibility of the artworks.

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