Sentiments upon Viewing Friedrich's Seascape
Caspar David Friedrich's painting "Monk by the Sea", viewed by Clemens Brentano, Achim von Arnim and Heinrich von Kleist

02.06.2006 to 27.08.2006

Alte Nationalgalerie

With this exhibition, one of the most important paintings of Romanticism, Caspar David Friedrich's "Monk by the Sea", is put into the context of contemporary literature and art theory. "Sentiments upon Viewing Friedrich's Seascape" was the title of an article that appeared on 13 October 1810 in the "Berliner Abendblätter", a newspaper of which Heinrich von Kleist was the editor. The painting under discussion by Friedrich had first been presented to the public at the Berlin Academy exhibition in September 1810, only a few weeks prior to the article's publication. Today, the "Monk by the Sea" belongs to the highlights of the National Gallery's collection. Heinrich von Kleist, having asked Clemens Brentano and Achim von Armin to write a review of the picture, had received four handwritten manuscript pages, two by each author. Kleist reworked and extended this text, giving it a new direction of thought. Both Kleist's and Brentano's comments belong to the most memorable and profound reflections on the Romantic idea of landscape, the most modern of its time. The studio exhibition in the Caspar-David-Friedrich-Room of the Old National Gallery is a cooperation with the Kleistmuseum in Frankfurt/Oder and the Freier Deutscher Hochstift in Frankfurt/Main. This show is the first to bring together Friedrich's painting, the precious autographs on loan from the Frankfurt Goethe Museum, and the printed versions (differing from the handwritten text), supplemented by additional exhibits relevant to the subject.