LANDSCAPE PAINTINGS : Painting Romanticism With Allegory

Theme : Landscape Paintings with romantic and allegorical style.

The eighteenth century was passing through its last breathing years. The morning was gloomy on the coast of Greifswald, a small town in Germany on the coast of Baltic sea. One young man, with whose life we are concerned herewith, was enjoying his skating.suddenly he started drowning. His elder brother came to his rescue. he was saved; his elder brother was not. This tragic episode kept the young man's life coloured with grief and guilt. He, Caspar David Friedrich, yes it was his name, converted his grief and guilt and the coast of Greifswald into paintings which were to become the treasure of the world of art.

The Wanderer above the Sea of Fog

While looking at a painting if you feel that you are standing on a hill top and feeling the serene beauty of the landscape before your eyes, the painting must be done by Caper David Friedrich. It seems that he had painted everything subtle he saw and felt. Through the masterly use of dark and light colours, with their appropriate hues,

Caspar David Friedrich tried conveying the emotional and a little bit subjective response to the natural surrounding he lived within. Through his landscapes paintings, not remaining a colourful representation of the Mother Earth only, he spoke the metaphysical side of the human mind, too.

In many of his paintings Friedrich tried showing the insignificance of humans buy putting a human figure before the vast and powerful natural forces like high mountains or deep valley of mass volume of water. But when an artist does so, his or her endeavour should be taken in right perspective considering it as an effort to make human race a part of whole universe, a part that has right to adore the natural beauty and not to abolish it.

The Art: In the above painting Wanderer above the Sea of Fog , Friedrich had shown his mastery over the art of painting landscapes and the use of dark shading and spacing the objects painted. Look at the dark, powerful, sturdy rock on which the man is standing. The rock is painted with details against the less detailed painted but vast expanse of the valley that lies in front. As the title of the painting suggest, it is narrating a landscape covered by the sea of fog; but the brightness of the colours speaks about the time that it should be morning and the fog would disappear soon.

The Artists: Friedrich’s landscape paintings are like pure aesthetic statements. He did a re-evaluation of the natural world; like we can see the same in the paintings of Turner and John Constable. He believed that an artist should paint only what he could see within him and not only the things he could see before him. Following his beliefs, Friedrich painted somewinter landscapes where in the land was painted in which the land was painted barren and desolate, like representing death or mourning.

The Style of Painting: Caspar David Friedrich
(1774-1840) was a painter of Romantic landscapes. He painted the mountains and rivers of Germany with oil colours and allegory, as the allegory was his second language.

Morning in the Giant Mountains, by Caspar David Friedrich

His paintings depicted the various moods of nature; the night skies with subdued colours, the morning mist with bright colours, and sometimes the tree without leavesand ruined building creating the dramatic and allegorical effect in his landscape the paintings. Here in these articles given with befitting images, an honest endeavour is done to provide some clue and guidance about how to paint a landscape. These articles would try throwing light on the various aspect of the theme: the pencil drawings, watercolours, and oil painting landscapes.
The landscape is the art of painting the greeneries on the earth mainly: the trees, the meadows, the valley, rain and the snow fall. But there had been master painters who had painted the Mother Earth in her every shade, in every form. The greenery is the cover on the earth, the beautiful clothes. And barren earth looks like a woman in her natural beauty. But the artists have embedded beauty in such barren form of the earth, too.
Those who have painted deserts and bare mountains of land mass without green cover of the grass might have find their work more challenging. Here they would have fewer subjects to depict the concept of beauty. But if the above painting done by the master painter Caspar David Friedrich is any evidence, these artists have never found any difficulty in painting the barren land, and uncovered areas of the land. One would hardly find the words spacious enough to describe the artistic prowess Friedrich possessed. His painting brush had enough power to embed the symbolic meanings into the paintings.

Images courtesy By Friedrich, Caspar David [public domain], from Wikimedia Commons, a


By Friedrich, Caspar David (scanned from book) [public domain], from Wikimedia Commons ]
If we look in the landscapes of the mountains in foreground, we get the detailed view. We can see that there is no presence of any vegetation in this area under painting. When we run our eyes to the distant mountains having lesser detail, there, too, we fail to find the green substances. So this painting is the painting of the barren mountains. But it has its own beauty.
Theme: Symbolism and Allegorry
Every painting, more or less, is a pictorial representation of emotions and ideas the artist had in his or her heart or mind. An artist conceives an idea and then tries to express it onto the frame as n artwork. There are subjects which can be expressed simply by depicting them on the canvas or paper, if painted in watercolour.
Chalk Cliffs on RĂ¼gen -by Caspar David Friedrich

What Is Symbolism

But while expressing the latent idea in his or her mind, an artist many a time takes the help of symbols rather telling the thing in a straight way. The painting in such cases carries a meaning in allegorical way. The technique of expressing a meaning through allegory is known as symbolism, as it takes help of symbols to tell something.
How an Artists Communicates by Symbols: Under the technique of symbolism, a painter uses the symbols for the ideas; say a tiny man standing in the vastness of land depicts the feebleness of the importance of humans before the nature. Such a symbolism owns its importance in the paintings carrying a religious message or describing a mythological scene. Now a day it helps in the field of psychoanalysis, too. It is very much useful in diagnosis, too, while the painters use symbols of dream imagery for pictorial presentation of his or her thoughts. Such paintings, carrying symbolic meanings, are in a way a visual language of the soul of the artist. We can witness such symbolism and allegorical meaning in the paintings of Friedrich.
The artists who often use symbols in their paintings believe in a principle that the art should catch more and more truth in its absolute form. This is sometimes impossible to depict in a straight way or through the simple depiction of objects; so they take help of the symbols carrying different meaning from what the objects physically represent.
When the painters, or sculptures, do their work with the help of one or another symbol, they try telling through the meaning-clad symbols. The subjects of paintings could be from nature or any human activity in the real world. But they all carry with them the highly metaphorical and suggestive elements, leading the viewers to think beyond what they see through their eyes. (Image courtesy Wikimedia Commons)
The people and the art lovers like to see such paintings, as sometimes they love to see the artworks full of mystery and hidden meaning. For example we like to see the scenes where a king’s elephant or horse is attacked, as it symbolises a challenge offered to the power of the oppressor. Or we like to see the paintings were a king is on horse back denoting his control over the situation and his ability to provide security to his people. The paintings done with symbolism provide this class of art lovers with particular images or objects carrying esoteric attractions.
Romantic Landscape Paintings: Putting Love in Colors
Theme: Landcape Paintings are the Best Examples of The Pantings of Romanticism.

Carl Anton Joseph
The landscape paintings throw us on vastness of land and sea. The flowing rivers make us to believe that the nature would provide for our food for ever; and the upright mountain challenge us to be brave and innovative. When the artists, a pinter takes a brush in his or her hand and stands before a blank canvass with an idea to depict these natural object; the idea in his or her mind is to reflect the our attitudes towards the natural world, the beauty of Mother Earth.

The colours the artists spread on canvass or a piece of paper animate the picture that has formed in the psychic of the artists. We should take it granted that the final outcome is not the photograph of what the eyes of the artists has visualised. It is the artist memory what was before his or her eyes blended with artistic imagination.When the painters who were contaminated with the artistic germs of romanticism blended their art and the romanticism movement, the result was bound to be unique in every sense of understanding.

The above painting is by Carl Anton Joseph (1797 - 1850), a German landscape painter, who belonged to the circle of artists around the Ludwig I, the king of Bavari Carl Anton Joseph painted large landscape paintings for the king. Carl Anton Joseph’s landscape paintings are is best known for mythical landscapes. The colours of the painting are wet with romanticism and the vision perspective of the painting a little bit chaotic one.

The soul of the painting forces us to believe us that we are standing in the midst of the real landscape. But the organization of the objects led us to believe that the whole landscape is tilted in one side, going outward from the spot we are standing. It is because an artists, while painting such a romantic scene, tends to believe that his or her entire self is being poured out.
[Image Courtesy Wikimedia Commons]

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