« The Morning Report - 5/1/19 | Main | The Morning Rant »
May 01, 2019

Mid-Morning Open Thread [Kris]

Freidrich Tombs.jpg


Grabmale Alter Helden (Tombs Of Ancient Heroes)
Caspar David Friedrich

When I was asked to submit a guest post, I honestly didn’t know what to pick. I decided to go with my favorite work by one of my top three artists, Caspar David Friedrich. His career spans the turn of the 19th century and is one of the most important German artists of the last few centuries. His style is militant Romanticism and in the first few decades, he used it to express his feelings during the Napoleonic Wars. This one is not his most famous, nor his best. That may be his “Wanderer Above the Fog”. It is my favorite, however, because it is dripping with emotional nationalism (before there was a German nation), has a buttload of symbolism and hope, and is very anti-French. Friedrich hated the French in general and Napoleon in particular. He despised Neoclassicism and used his Romantic style to wage an ideological and aesthetic war against it and them. In this way he is very similar to Britain’s JMW Turner. This is also an unusual Friedrich because it was very rare for him not to show the sky, instead the composition is dominated by this massive, impenetrable cliff and dark, eerie cave.

The ancient heroes of the title are those who fought foreign invaders for German independence and identity, starting with Arminius whose tomb is the cave in the very center of the work. If you zoom in you can see a carving on the large stone to the left of the opening. Napoleon styled himself as the last of the Roman emperors. Friedrich saw his army as Rome again invading Germany. Therefore, Arminius has risen to defend his people one more time. Other tombs and monuments are of varying age to represent the heroes of different eras. The glowing white obelisk is new. It is the tomb of the fallen Germans of the Napoleonic Wars. They are buried in the same graveyard as Arminius, on his right-hand side. This cemetery is the Germanic Arlington, it’s most hallowed ground. Their struggle was the same as Arminius’ and as honorable.

To the left of the white monument is a broken pine tree that has re-sprouted. To Friedrich, pine trees symbolized Germany. The pine tree broke and fell and was thought to be dead, but it has life in it yet. In front of the cave are two French chasseurs. They appear in quite a few of Friedrich’s works of the era and represent the power of the French army. Here they are tiny, dwarfed by the cliff and tomb, the trees and the monuments. That army is nothing like it was a few years before when it dominated Europe. Finally, in the very front, crawling along the ruins is a tricolor snake, the colors of the French flag.

Unfortunately, thanks to Adolph, there are very few Friedrichs left. Many were stored in a tower in Dresden and were destroyed during the bombing of that city during WWII.

Enjoy.

Kris


digg this
posted by CBD at 09:30 AM

| Access Comments




Recent Comments
IC: "So does Bill Kristol rush to Hillary's defense? ..."

Mr. Peebles: "600 violations just comes to an 'oopsie' if you're ..."

JT: "hiya ..."

f2000: ""Um, wouldn't the culpability lie with the boss wh ..."

Axeman: "I'll take the over. ..."

alexthechick - Ragebunny. Hopping all around.: "The oh those security violations just poof happene ..."

steevy: "We have to protect our phony baloney jobs gentleme ..."

Guy Smiley: "The Conservative Case for Violating Security Rules ..."

FenelonSpoke: "So what does Tulsi think happened to Warren if the ..."

That irredeemable guy who always warns...: "Don't go anywhere [i]near[/i] a park, Tulsi. ..."

joncelli, providing the traditional responses: "343 Has any Dem politician ever talked to her like ..."

ShainS [/b][/i][/s][/u]: "240 The Bee is at it again: Hillary Clinton asked ..."

Recent Entries
Search


Polls! Polls! Polls!
Frequently Asked Questions
The (Almost) Complete Paul Anka Integrity Kick
Top Top Tens
Greatest Hitjobs

The Ace of Spades HQ Sex-for-Money Skankathon
A D&D Guide to the Democratic Candidates
Margaret Cho: Just Not Funny
More Margaret Cho Abuse
Margaret Cho: Still Not Funny
Iraqi Prisoner Claims He Was Raped... By Woman
Wonkette Announces "Morning Zoo" Format
John Kerry's "Plan" Causes Surrender of Moqtada al-Sadr's Militia
World Muslim Leaders Apologize for Nick Berg's Beheading
Michael Moore Goes on Lunchtime Manhattan Death-Spree
Milestone: Oliver Willis Posts 400th "Fake News Article" Referencing Britney Spears
Liberal Economists Rue a "New Decade of Greed"
Artificial Insouciance: Maureen Dowd's Word Processor Revolts Against Her Numbing Imbecility
Intelligence Officials Eye Blogs for Tips
They Done Found Us Out, Cletus: Intrepid Internet Detective Figures Out Our Master Plan
Shock: Josh Marshall Almost Mentions Sarin Discovery in Iraq
Leather-Clad Biker Freaks Terrorize Australian Town
When Clinton Was President, Torture Was Cool
What Wonkette Means When She Explains What Tina Brown Means
Wonkette's Stand-Up Act
Wankette HQ Gay-Rumors Du Jour
Here's What's Bugging Me: Goose and Slider
My Own Micah Wright Style Confession of Dishonesty
Outraged "Conservatives" React to the FMA
An On-Line Impression of Dennis Miller Having Sex with a Kodiak Bear
The Story the Rightwing Media Refuses to Report!
Our Lunch with David "Glengarry Glen Ross" Mamet
The House of Love: Paul Krugman
A Michael Moore Mystery (TM)
The Dowd-O-Matic!
Liberal Consistency and Other Myths
Kepler's Laws of Liberal Media Bias
John Kerry-- The Splunge! Candidate
"Divisive" Politics & "Attacks on Patriotism" (very long)
The Donkey ("The Raven" parody)
Powered by
Movable Type 2.64