May 16Liked by Yonatan Daon

sir i must debate this. i feel that Friedrich, considering his other works, is not necessarily saying do not try. I think these paintings speak more to trying in seemingly unbeatable odds, the prevailing of the human spirit and human will. Akin to other arctic paintings, im sure wrecked ships in arctic passages were much discussed in Europe. Nietzsche was not yet born but it is hard not to see ideas of striving and perservering for me personally. Whilst I would not wish to pit humanity against nature in such a strict binary, I think Friedrich's painting does not warn so much as inform and conceptualize the risks humans take in exploration, and almost invites the viewer to explore more, encouraging them. We want to see the ice fields in the back. We want to be the explorer who succeeds, who successfully navigates the sea of ice. I liked your writing here on a worthy topic and wished to offer an alternative response for your consideration. Respectfully, Laurence.

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Thank you Laurence, I really appreciate your insightful comment. I agree that this is a possible interpretation. The reason why I choose a pessimistic interpretation is because many of Friedrich's works follow a similar theme. He was rather depressed throughout much of his life from a very young age, having seen death up close, and Lutheranism was also a big part of his life. Those are some of the reasons, but I do agree with you that there could be a case for arguing that he is actually pro-human exploration. One fact that testifies to that is that he does show man being able to traverse nature despite the dangers.

In any case, this very ambivalence that aroused our conversation is one of the main reasons why I love Caspar David Friedrich's art so much. It leaves much open to various, and possibly contradictory interpretations.

Thank you again for your comment. I hope you enjoyed the article depsite your disagreement.

- Yonatan

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