Casper David Friedrich. Abbey Among Oak Trees, 1809-10. Alte Internationalgalerie, Berlin. Attribution: Google Art Project, Public Domain.

study days

Caspar David Friedrich: Intense Visionary Painter of Landscape

  • Friday 18 October 2024
  • Lettsom House, First Floor, 11 Chandos Street, London W1G 9EB (NB: There is no lift in this building)
  • Lecturer: Clare Ford-Wille

Caspar David Friedrich was born in Greifswald in Pomerania in 1774 (a year before the birth of Turner and two years before that of Constable). His unique contribution was to transform the subject of landscape by infusing it with deep spiritual meaning and the universal power of nature. Three major exhibitions are planned in 2024 to celebrate his life and work, in Hamburg, Berlin and Dresden. Next year, in 2025 the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York will put on the first solo exhibition of his work in the USA.  Friedrich’s vision of landscape is unforgettable, and his work expresses the epitome of what came to be known as romanticism. He was little appreciated when he died in 1840, yet during his lifetime his work was collected by royal and noble patrons and is today enthusiastically admired in the museums of Berlin and Dresden, as well as, more recently at London’s National Gallery. The study day will be an opportunity to explore Friedrich’s career and fascinating work in detail and to analyse his unique, intense and powerful engagement with nature, as well as to see his work in the wider context of his contemporaries and his influence upon his successors.


  1.  What is German Romanticism? Introduction: the historical, political and economic background to Friedrich’s beginnings in Greifswald.
  2. Friedrich’s Early Maturity and Move to Dresden, 1811-1820, as a Painter in Oil.
  3. Friedrich’s Later Career and Influence 1824-35.
  4. Friedrich’s Final Years and Haunting Sepia Drawings.


Clare Ford-Wille is an independent art historian, well known to members for her courses at Birkbeck and Morley College as well as a lecturer at the National Gallery, the V&A and The Arts Society groups in Britain and Europe. She has led many tours abroad. Clare is a Vice President of The London Art History Society.

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