“Woman Before the Rising Sun (Woman Before the Setting Sun)”

Caspar Davie Friedrich, Woman Before the Rising Sun (Woman Before the Setting Sun), 1818-20, oil on canvas.
Caspar Davie Friedrich, Woman Before the Rising Sun (Woman Before the Setting Sun), 1818-20, oil on canvas.

 

How often do we use the word ‘sublime’ to describe something? In the art world, sublime might mean something different than you expect. While we would still describe work under this category as being impressive or awe-inspiring – it is specifically used to describe work that ignites that feeling we get when we realize how small we are. No one  painter has ever really done this better than Caspar David Friedrich ,the German born Romantic landscape painter known for creating scenes  that remind us of that healthy fear we should have of nature. Crashing waves on the sea cliffs, strange glaciers, live amongst his work of ancient ruins – man’s craftsmanship surpassed by that of the Creators. This scene of the rising sun is so deep for me. There is an awe, and healthy fear here of the unknown. The night is over, with all its uncertainty and our heroine embraces the glory and the challenges of the coming day. Or, on the other hand – we are witnessing the glory of a dying day, and reveling in its remaining moments.  The fact that our point of view lies at her back actually allows us to identify with her more – we become the awe-struck creature in this scene. This is one of those works at which I really think I could stare at for hours.

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s