German Landscape Artists

"I have to stay alone in order to fully contemplate and feel nature"

Caper David Friedrich
-by 
Johann Karl Bähr

That is what the great German artist Caper David Friedrich believed. We can observe that element in his paintings, too. While you are looking at the paintings done by the German Artists, and if you feel that you are emotionally charged and standing on a German landscape, the painting must be done by the master German artist Caper David Friedrich.  

Friedrich was an engineer with his own set of tool to move his art. He was the man who painted everything so subtle, so romantic and so symbolic that any art lover will be fascinated.  These are the aspects embedded in his paintings: the use of dark and light colours, the masterly execution of every hue of the colours, and a symbolic meaning embedded into the paintings. 

Landscape Artists of Germany:   The German land has produced a good number of amazing artists. Here are some of the prominent names. Their work is narrated and displayed here. The leading artists are:

1    Caper David Friedrich  (Born 1774 Died 1840)  2  Gerhard Richter  (Born 1932 )

3     Albrecht Durer (1471 - 1528)  4   Hans Holbein the Younger  (1493-1543)   

OIl on Canvas Caspar David Friedrich
Memories of the Giant Mountains, The State
Hermitage Museum, Saint Petersburg, Russia

Paintings by Caper David Friedrich: If anyone has changed the face of Landscape Painting, we can certainly say that he was the German artist Casper David Friedrich. He was born in Dresden, Germany, in the year 1774 and died in 1840. Friedrich was the most famous German artist of his time. Whereas for an artist, to connect himself or herself with art and emotion is a pivotal phenomenon; the artist Friedrich had a focus that was full of emotions.  

In the case of German artist Friedrich, the emotional element was quite intense. It helped him to become a principal figure in the art movement that was known as the Romantic Movement. His sense of capturing the beauty embedded in nature; his ability to make a scene a symbolic one; all of these aspects made him a memorable artist. Look at any of his paintings: on seeing his landscapes with close scrutiny, we can find the human helplessness embedded in the paintings. He always endeavoured to insert the majestic element of sublime in his art. That was perhaps the critical aspect of the romantic paintings; that was the element for which the movement of romanticism was known.

Caspar David Friedrich 
Moonrise Over The Sea

When we see the paintings of Friedrich, the artist's intense love for nature is the first thing that we could not avoid noticing. He was a man with the capability of an x-ray machine embedded in his eyes. That aspect makes his paintings so easily recognisable. 

About the composition part of his painting frames, Caper David Friedrich would put a figure on the front side. Thereafter he would put the entire expanse of the landscape behind that figure. This element infused immediate liveliness on the canvas. It seems that the landscape is the background. That made nature a centre stage, a prominent aspect in his paintings. 

The infusion of a spiritual factor in the landscape painting was perhaps a novel idea. Friedrich hunted for the element of spirituality. He did it by observing nature very closely. He spread the bounds of trees, hills, mountaintops and roaring waves and inserted those enlarged elements in his art pieces. All these ingredients have created a lasting spiritual effect in his paintings.

Gerhard Richter:           The painter who has changed the painting landscapes of post-war Germany is Gerhard Richter. Born in 1932 he has acquired his fame and a lot of praise from the critics of the twentieth century. He made his place among the top artists of Germany once his masterpieces were exhibited in the year 2005. He is regarded as the best living painter of our present period. During his life, he has got a long index of the prizes. That has made him such a prominent artist of the modern state of Germany.

Gerhard Richter studied art in Germany, and he also teaches art in Germany. You know the learning and teaching are fast friends. Gerhard Richter is the most versatile artist of our time. He had painted a range of photorealistic paintings, too. His work is mostly displayed in the famous galleries of Germany.

Most of Gerhard Richter's work shows the illusionist spaces. But these spaces look quite natural, and that is one of the main components of his painting.  In one of his paintings titled "Woods", which is given here, we can see how masterly Gerhard has infused the space in the landscape. 

In this masterpiece painting, we can feel the illusion of the objects like the trees, the background of the trees, and the space between the objects masterly depicted. Such a depiction of the art makes an artist so famous and so memorable.

Gerhard Richter
Jindřich Nosek (NoJin)
CC BY-SA 4.0,
via Wikimedia Commons

In his paintings, he tries to understand and convey the real word that is in our surrounding. He combines reality and illusion with the help of his artistic attempts. This wonderful artistic process has made him the most popular artist of present-day Germany.   He says: "My sole concern is the object. Otherwise, I would not take so much trouble over my choice of subjects; otherwise, I would not paint at all".

Here he says about his perspective in connection with the art of painting. He says: "I do not have a specific picture in my mind's eye. I want to end up with a picture that I have not planned. This method of arbitrary choice, chance, inspiration and destruction may produce a specific type of picture, but it never produces a predetermined picture." For Gerhard Richter, each art piece should have a visual logic which the artist has developed in his mind's eye. 

For an artist like Gerhard Richter, a final painting must emerge as an unpredictable outcome from the artist.  There should be less planning and more spontaneity; that is what we can learn after looking at his paintings. For a great artist like Gerhard, making an art piece is just like going through an unconscious process.

Albrecht DürerInnsbruck Castle Courtyard 

Albrecht Durer:    If we talk about the German painters, and if we want to know about the fifteenth-century paintings of Germany, we cannot miss looking at the artwork of a wonderful painter Albrecht Durer. 

Albrecht Durer got his presence in the art word recorded at the early age of twenty. It was due to his leaning to execute wood art. But he had painted wonderful landscapes.  

Here is the masterpiece work by Albrecht Durer. This painting is Gouache and Watercolour on paper. This painting is of the courtyard of the castle known as Innsbruck. The painting is done on paper. 

The materials used are gouache and watercolours. It was mainly used for doing preparatory work in those days. Look at the painting and feel the magic of the light plays in the painting. The light falling on the street, the light falling on the walls. Durer was known for his precise lining work. We can see in this painting the scheme of the building and the tower at a distance. The work is perfect from its architectural perspective. Albrecht Durer was a German artist. He was born in the city of Nuremberg in the year 1471. He is considered one of the famous renaissance painters of Europe.  

Albrecht Dürer, Self Portrait

Durer's paintings are wonderful masterpieces. However, what attracts our prime attention is the bulk of the drawings and a list of the portraits he had done.  

Durer was perhaps one of the few artists in entire Europe who had done that much drawings and portraits. His leisurely-done self-portraits can be turned into masterpieces. Durer painted in oil, gouache, and watercolour. He was fortunate for one thing; he had a fairly good number of clients to support his art, mainly the art of portrait painting.  

When we look at the portraits he did, we can say that he owned a wonderful art of handling the lines and shades in the art pieces he executed whether for himself or for his clients. Albrecht Durer, the artist was also a good traveller. He travelled much in the continent of Europe. That made him acquainted with many good clients. They all praised his art; they provided him with a good number of commissions. Lucky man. 

Hans Holbein the Younger - Jane Seymour, Queen of England - Google Art Project
 Jane Seymour, Queen of England
          -by Hans Holbein 

Hans Holbein the Younger:    In the world of art, it is said with pride that the German artists have contributed a very big stock of masterpieces to the world of art. Whether they may be the artists of a bygone era or they may be the present-day artists.  The name of the artist Hans Holbein the Younger is one of these artists. 

Hans Holbein the Younger belonged to a group of artists of Germany. He painted beautiful landscapes: his landscapes included the mountain peaks of the Alps, the riversides of Rhine, Danube, Elbe and Kiel. These rivers flow the water to the sea; and after seeing the magical scenes of the riverfronts and the river banks, the artists flow the colours on canvasses and paper. To paint the aspect of nature is a wonderful representation of God's creation. Those representations depicted the beauty of these rivers and the mountains of Germany. 

Hans Holbein the Younger is known for the realist style of painting. It is because he had adopted that style to depict the mountains, open plains and the river banks looking as realistic as possible. Hans Holbein the Younger loved nature: that love led him to the river banks and the mountain tops. He flowed his vision alongside the flowing waters; he raised his eyes up to the peaks of the mountain Alps. He wonderfully had reinvented his own mental images of these beautiful landscapes of the German land on his canvasses.

In those days when Hans Holbein the Younger was alive, the art of portrait making was in good demanded. The artists did get commissions from the royal families and the wealthy traders. Hans Holbein the Younger also made several wonderful portraits during his career as an artist.

Lais of Corinth
-by Hans Holbein 

If his art were to talk about, one thing must be told. He had such a passion for art that while painting the landscapes, he would never compromise in the matter of the outside surface and appearance of the scene. 

He took the lesson of symbolism from the pages of the book that was read much during his life. He endeavoured to infuse symbolism in his paintings. Among other factors, there were two prominent aspects in his paintings: one, the masterly creation of illusions on his canvasses; two, the paradoxes he had created through the excellently painted canvases.

Landscapes Done by Friedrich  (Portrait is done by Gerhard von Kugelgen)

Caspar David Friedrich had tried to convey the artist's emotional and subjective response to the natural surrounding. Through his landscapes paintings, Caper David Friedrich executed a colourful representation of Mother Earth; he also put into the painting one strange thing: the metaphysical side of the human mind. [All the paintings are in Public Domain, taken from Wikimedia Commons]

Gerhard von Kügelgen portrait of Friedrich         Caspar David Friedrich 013       Caspar David Friedrich - Das Eismeer - Hamburger Kunsthalle - 02

Paintings Done by Albrecht Durer

Caterina Cornaro by durer                  Duerer wing of a blue roller                  Albrecht Dürer - Portrait of a Young Man - WGA07098
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