Eastern Coast of Rügen Island with Shepherd

Artist: Caspar David Friedrich (German, Greifswald 1774–1840 Dresden)

Date: ca. 1805–6

Medium: Sepia colored ink, sepia colored wash, white gouache and graphite on off-white wove paper

Dimensions: 24 1/4 x 39 inches (61.6 x 99 cm)

Classification: Drawings

Credit Line: Purchase, several members of The Chairman's Council Gifts and Fletcher Fund, and Promised Gift of Leon D. and Debra R. Black, 2002

Accession Number: 2002.260


Caspar David Friedrich's landscapes combine close observation of nature with, especially as his career progressed, a pervasive Romanticism. This large-scale, painterly drawing is one of a series Friedrich carried out before taking up oil painting. The view is based on drawings made on the island of Rügen in the Baltic Sea, not far from Greifswald, the artist's birthplace. A solitary human figure contemplating the expanse of nature would be a recurring theme in his oeuvre.