A Walk at Dusk

Object Details

Title:

A Walk at Dusk

Artist/Maker(s):

Caspar David Friedrich (German, 1774 - 1840)

Culture:

German

Date:

about 1830 - 1835

Medium:

Oil on canvas

Dimensions:

33.3 x 43.7 cm (13 1/8 x 17 3/16 in.)

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His head bowed, a man walks alone in the silvery, cold moonlit night while contemplating a megalithic tomb and its implicit message of death. It is winter, and all around him nature is dying. Leafless trees loom behind like specters, but a grove of verdant oaks rises through the mist in the background with the promise of life. The waxing moon, high in the sky, also acts as a counterbalance to death, symbolizing Christ and the promise of rebirth for the artist Caspar David Friedrich.

Friedrich was part of the German Romantic movement; his deeply personal and introspective vision addressed Christian themes through analogies based on the cycles of nature. A Walk at Dusk was among a small group of works Friedrich completed before he suffered a debilitating stroke in 1835. The painting embodies both the melancholy he experienced during this period and the consolation he found in the Christian faith.

Provenance

Crusius Family (Dresden, Germany), probably by inheritance to Helene (Crusius) Voith.

Helene (Crusius) Voith, 1842 - 1932, probably by inheritance to her son, Dr. Hanns Voith.

- 1971

Dr. Hanns Voith, 1885 - 1971 (Heidenheim, Germany), by inheritance to his heirs, 1971.

1971 - 1993

Heirs of Dr. Hanns Voith, 1885 - 1971 (Heidenheim, Germany) [sold, Christie's, London, May 20, 1993, lot 352, to the J. Paul Getty Museum]

Exhibitions
Interjections II (November 20, 2005 to January 9, 2006)
  • Museum of Contemporary Art (Los Angeles), November 20, 2005 to January 9, 2006
From Caspar David Friedrich to Gerhard Richter: German Paintings from Dresden (October 6, 2006 to April 29, 2007)
  • The J. Paul Getty Museum at the Getty Center, (Los Angeles), October 6, 2006 to April 29, 2007
Caspar David Friedrich: den besjälade naturen (October 2, 2009 to January 10, 2010) (Cat. 90)
  • Nationalmuseum, (Stockholm), October 2, 2009 to January 10, 2010
Zeitgeist: Art from the Germanic World, 1800-1900 (February 10 to May 17, 2015) (Cat. 90)
  • The J. Paul Getty Museum at the Getty Center, (Los Angeles), February 10 to May 17, 2015
Related Media
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    Audio: A Walk at Dusk