Thursday, October 28, 2010

Cloister Graveyard, Friedrich

The relationship with nature in this painting is particularly interesting. Nature does not at first overwhelm as quickly as it has in many other paintings and pieces of art on this blog. Instead, one's eye is drawn to the cathedral ruin placed dead-center on the canvas, a clear depiction of man's presence. The same goes for the copious amounts of graves scattering the expanse, evidence of a significant human presence. Yet, upon further examination, it is nature that appears dominate. The two trees in foreground give the effect of stretching higher than the edifice of man. Noted, some might argue that this is because of perspective, but the effect still stands. They are solid and domineering in both size and color and the manner in which they confront their audience. Nature also proves champion by being so long lasting. The structures of man lie in ruin and the bodies of its creators and benefactors decompose beneath the roots of these trees we see all around. Though leafless and bare in the winter snow, these trees can claim the promises of spring unlike the human that populate their common ground. 

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