The exhibition in the German capital celebrating the desire to travel.
Planning a trip to Berlin between May 10th and September 16th this year means that you’ll have the chance to visit Wanderlust, from Caspar David Friedrich to Auguste Renoir at the Alte Nationalgalerie of Berlin. This wonderful exhibition traces the history of nineteenth-century Romanticism.
If we were to imagine a vagabond as a pictorial subject, Caspar David Friedrich immediately comes to mind – one of the most important exponents of the “symbolic landscape”. He is famous for basing his paintings on a careful observation of German landscapes, with particular attention to the light and its effects.
Friedrich considered natural landscape as divine work, God’s creations. Moreover, his work always portrayed specific moments, such as dawn, sunset or the breaking of a storm. Along these lines, his famous “Wanderer above the sea of fog”, a piece from 1817 that was kindly offered by the Hamburger Kunsthalle, opening the exhibit. This is an artistic pathway that winds through the nineteenth century, with works that go, in addition to Friedrich, from Hodler and Gauguin to Renoir.
The historical context of the period when these artists worked was defined by a vast wealth of stimulus and intellectual ferment, clearly shown by the Rousseau’s call to nature and the poetics of Goethe‘s Sturm und Drang, with that incitement to free themselves from social constraints. Initially seen as an extemporaneous form of reaction against the rapid social changes initiated in the French Revolution, romanticism soon became – in the early years of the nineteenth century – the expression of a new conscious approach to contemporary life, introducing a new conception of self and the world in a decelerated form. This is a vision of life that is still perceived today.
Exploring nature, observing it from different angles and perspectives, became the prerogative of the romanticism, a sort of life journey, and a self-determined pilgrimage in the pursuit of taking back of the physical world. The works exhibited at Wanderlust, including masterpieces by Caspar David Friedrich, Carl Blechen, Karl Friedrich Schinkel and Johan Christian Dahl, as well as Gustave Courbet, Ferdinand Hodler and Paul Gauguin, show just how powerful and fruitful the subject of the wanderer in art throughout the nineteenth century can be – not only in Germany but everywhere, from France to Norway and from Russia to the United States.
The exhibit is set out in five theme-based areas: “The discovery of nature”, “Life’s journey”, “The wanderings of the artist”, “Promenaders”, and “Landscapes alongside the Alps”, each of which draws attention to a particular and singular interpretation of the journey, movement, and relationship between artists and environment that surrounds them.
The exhibit also includes pieces from private museum collections. As a result, Wanderlust is a unique opportunity for a journey into the fantastic and incredible nature of exponents of nineteenth-century romanticism.