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Caspar David Friedrich Hardcover – June 13, 2012

ISBN-13: 978-3791346281 ISBN-10: 3791346288 Edition: Slp

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Prestel USA; Slp edition (June 13, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 3791346288
  • ISBN-13: 978-3791346281
  • Product Dimensions: 14 x 12 x 1.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 7.7 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #190,534 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews


"[B]y far the most sumptuous and historically informed text [on Friedrich]. Building on the insights of previous critics and scholars, Grave skillfully assesses Friedrich's canvases (reproduced here more beautifully than in any previous book), but his greater achievement is authoritatively placing Friedrich's work in its cultural, intellectual, and aesthetic context." - The Atlantic

"Caspar David Freidrich stands out, primarily for its size and lavish reproductions…of paintings, drawings and prints by this great German Romantic. It conveys a fuller sense of Friedrich's enigmatic, landscape-centered art than any single museum or exhibition could possibly provide." - The New York Times

"The sumptuously illustrated Caspar David Friedrich…is a good guide to one of the major artists of the Romantic era." --Tulsa World

"[Friedrich's] haunting and mysterious canvases are beautifully reproduced by Prestel in Caspar David Friedrich." - Publishers Weekly

"Luxuriant." --The Huffington Post

From the Inside Flap

"A painting must stand as a painting, made by human hand," wrote Caspar David Friedrich, "not seek to disguise itself as nature." One of his generation's most popular painters, Friedrich imagined landscapes of powerful beauty and spirituality from within the confines of his studios. This breathtaking monograph, filled with glorious reproductions and details of his paintings, argues for Friedrich's reputation as a sublime artist and interpreter of nature.

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
Few 19th Century painters have been examined and studied and emulated as Caspar David Friedrich, and while there are many fine monographs on this exemplary artist, few can compare to this impressive volume. Johannes Grave, the Associate Director at the Centre Allemand d'Histoire de l'Art in Paris, has written an insightful and historically correct evaluation of this painter of landscapes who rarely left his studio - painting these magnificent landscapes from his memory and imagination.

Caspar David Friedrich (1774-1840) was one of the most prominent painters of the German Romantic and remains so to the present day. His penchant for idyllic transfigured imagery and his obsession with excessive mystification of image contents and their national revolutionary messages places him in his singular position as a landscape painter. A Romanticist, yes, but as Grave points out a closer look reveals the visually skillfully arranged spectacles of Friedrich as a precursor to radical modernity.

Friedrich capitalized on the concept of illusion and by basically confining his output to landscape painting he challenges his viewer to call upon memory of things seen and to accept things as represented by his transcendent view of the world. `The tension between the two forms of vision is experienced, that with each image the viewer is always confronted with two dimensions - what it represents and the pictorial form. That the picture shows something in particular implies, always, that the image has to show itself.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Bondo Wyszpolski on May 30, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Johannes Grave is an exceptional scholar, but there are passages that are too dry and not lively enough... not lively enough, that is, to bring Friedrich to life. He talks around many of the pictures without really delving into them. Most of the paintings are enigmatic in some way, and I was hoping that Grave would prod us into more into exploring how the elements in various pictures resonate with one another to create the sometimes mystical effects that they have. Friedrich's work, the latter work in particular, is at times ominous and apocalyptic, the way Schopenhauer's philosophy and Wagner's "Ring" cycle seem to presage a dark cloud on the horizon. The ravens, for example, and later on the obsession with owls. Friedrich seems to have anticipated something, and it wasn't pretty or reassuring. You can read it in the paintings... The book itself is a work of art, with many reproductions that we don't find in other monographs about Friedrich.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Corey Lidster on June 23, 2014
Format: Hardcover
While the Thames and Hudson monograph devoted to Caspar David Friedrich (written by Werner Hoffman) is very good, and was the best book on Friedrich for over a decade, Prestels' new release is even better. Johannes Graves has written an intriguing account of the troubled life and idiosyncratic works of this important German artist. It's oversized 12" x 14" dimensions are put to good use, with full-page and double-page reproductions that are sometimes even larger than some of Friedrichs' canvases. It is a generous tome in all respects, giving due attention to an often misunderstood artist, criticized by his peers and even his friends, among them Goethe. When he died his work was largely forgotten, and it wasn't until the 20th century that he was rediscovered and given his rightful place in the pantheon of Great Romantic Artists, alongside Delacroix and Gericault. His misfortune survived the grave without him, it seems, when Hitler sang his praises and infected Friedrich's reputation the same way he infected Nietzsche and Bocklin and German Shepherds. Although the logic behind these negative associations is thin, at best, it can be boiled down to it's idiotic essence -- Hitler, being unspeakably awful, must have only liked unspeakably awful things. While this might hold true for moustaches and opera, it certainly did not for Friedrich (or Bocklin or German Shepherds). Graves' book gives us ample evidence of the artists' innovative genius, with paintings like 'Monk by the Sea' and 'The Wreck of the Hope'. He was not the most technically gifted of painters, but he was talented in a very intuitive way, finding the sublime in places no one had before. A large selection of paintings are on display throughout the 300 or so pages, as well as many of his beautiful sepia-toned drawings, which are impressive in their own right. Also included is a slipcase, which is always nice for keeping the book in the best shape possible. I know I will be revisiting this volume for years to come.
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