OIL PAINTING: The Watzmann, 1824-1825
Throughout his life, Friedrich demonstrated himself to be closely attached to his home. His numerous trips and walking tours to central Germany, Silesia, Bohemia, Greifswald, Neubrandenburg and Rugen never actually took him very far away. He never visited southern Germany, for example, and his painting of The Watzmann - a mountain near Berchtesgaden, portrayed here rising like a Gothic cathedral in its stone majesty - was inspired by a watercolour by his pupil August Heinrich. It also rivalled a painting by Adrian Ludwig Richter of the same title, which went on show in Dresden in 1824 and was intended to back up Richter's application for the professorship in landscape painting at the Academy, the post to which Friedrich also aspired.
Despite its apparent fidelity to nature, The Watzmann by Friedrich reveals a somewhat fantastical element in its mixture of different geological formations and its unnatural ratios of scale.