Sunday, July 5, 2009


Monk on the Seashore, Caspar David Friedrich, c. 1809, Oil on Canvas, 3' 7.25" X 5' 7.25", National Galerie, Staatliche Museen, Berlin
Casper David Friedrich was admitted into the Prussian Royal Academy in 1811 based on the strength of this painting. At the time, the juxtaposition of the small monk against the vast expanse of sky was an unusual composition. Many believe that this painting is a self portrait of the artist and represents man's preoccupation with death and the vastness and endurance of nature.

Badwater Lake, Death Valley, CA, Easter Sunday, Joel Sternfeld, 2005, Chromogenic Print, 48" X 38.5", available at Rose Gallery (310) 264-8440
Joel Sternfeld is a contemporary photographer. He was born in 1944 in New York and is known for his large format, color photographs. Sternfeld often works with a tripod mounted view camera which allows him to explore his subjects from a distance. Although the artist's works are often said to continue the photographer Walker Evan's tradition of capturing "roadside America" the compositional similarity to the work of Friedrich is at once apparent. Further, the artist's objective also seems to be similar. Photographed at a distance, the figures in this painting appear small and insignificant compared to the large landscape.
Works of this size by this artist have recently sold at auction for around $17,000-$18,000.

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