Childhood and education
David Friedrich was born in 1774 on the Baltic coast of Germany and was the sixth child in a strict Lutheran family. His father was a candle maker and a soap boiler. Friedrich lost his mother and two of his sisters when he was seven due to illness. The death of his brother was the most painful loss of his life. His brother drowned while trying to rescue an artist when he fell into ice. Friedrich was his only siblings and was educated by tutors. Friedrich started his drawing lessons in 1790 from a university professor, Gottfried Quistorp. Friedrich had so much interest in art and took admission at the Copenhagen academy. At that time, he took an interest in landscape and nature. He was also into spiritual and mystical poetry, and it influenced his work and helped him for his role as one of the great leaders of German Romanticism.
In 1978, Friedrich finished his studies, moved to Dresden, and found a good audience. In his early work, Friedrich expressed religious sentiments through the power of nature. Landscape paintings very much influenced Friedrich. His visual manifestation was great, and it can be seen in The Cross in the Mountains and Morning Mist in the mountains. During these years, Friedrich's paintings carried a political significance as well. His paintings held the promise of future Independence from the foreign rulers.
Friedrich got quick recognition as one of the leaders of German Romanticism. He got married to Caroline Bommer in 1818 at the age of 44. With her, he had three children: two daughters and one son. His reputation was as a solitary figure, and his marriage had an impact on his career. He started painting his wife in some of his paintings. He transformed his lone figure into a couple. Friedrich got the attention when two of his famous paintings were exhibited at the Berlin academy. The two paintings were then bought by the Prince Friedrich Wilhelm Ludwig of Prussia. The royal family supported the artist as long as they were ruling. His art too got recognition as Tsar Nicolas-I purchased some of his works for his Court.
Friedrich faced the losses of many close people in his early life, and it echoed once again when one of his closest friends and fellow artists was murdered in 1820. It caused severe depression to Friedrich. During this time, he worked as a teacher for solace and comfort. In this period of his life, he started taking an interest in Naturalism and realism in German art. Soon Friedrich's loyalty to the romantic landscapes was out of fashion, so he was being denied a position in Dresden academy in 1824. After that, he fell ill, and he didn't have enough strength to paint until 1826.
In 1830 he stated to stay in the privacy of his studio. His closest friends and family were only allowed to enter. Some people say his later works as medication on death and the passing of the time. But in his last moment, his life was productive, and he produced one of his great works, "The stages of life."On June 26, 1835, Friedrich suffered from a stroke that made him half-paralyzed, limiting his ability to draw. And he died in May of 1840 when he suffered from a second stroke; at that time, he was suffering from poverty. Friedrich's dedication to landscape painting has inspired many artists all over the world. And his landscape format will always have a global impact.