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Romantic subjects and outstanding artworks

250 years of Caspar David Friedrich 2024

"Wanderer above the Sea of Fog" (Hamburger Kunsthalle) or "The Monk by the Sea" (Alte Nationalgalerie, Staatliche Museen Berlin) and "Two Men Contemplating the Moon" (Albertinum, Staatliche Kunstsammlung Dresden) - who doesn't know the works of Caspar David Friedrich?

The artist is regarded as the founder of modernism in painting. It is hard to believe that he was initially forgotten for half a century after his death. His works are now regarded as pictorial icons and also inspire contemporary artists.

Join us on a voyage of discovery to the life stages of THE representative of Romantic art in Germany.

On the traces of the great Romantic

1st stop: Greifswald

Caspar David Friedrich was not only born in Greifswald on 5 September 1774 as the son of a soap and candle maker, but also received his first drawing lessons there. The artist later returned to his hometown time and again to find inspiration for his work.

© TMV Sebastian Hugo Witzel

Friedrich's lifelines

  • In the Caspar David Friedrich Centre in the former home and business premises of the Friedrich family, you can experience the atmosphere of the time.

  • In the immediate surroundings you can visit St. Nikolai Cathedral, where Caspar David Friedrich was baptised.

  • The Pomeranian State Museum, where you can marvel at original Friedrich paintings, is just a few minutes' walk away.

  • The Caspar David Friedrich Picture Trail comprises 15 stops and takes you to the places that Friedrich used as motifs for his world-famous paintings and which have been preserved to this day.

Our tips for the anniversary year 2024

  • The anniversary year in the Hanseatic city started on 20 January 2024 with the motto "From Greifswald to the world". Choose from over 160 events organised jointly by the Pomeranian State Museum, the city and the Caspar David Friedrich Centre: Exhibitions, concerts, lectures and festivals - the artist will even be honoured on the chalk cliffs on the island of Rügen.
  • In August and September 2024, you can admire the painting "The Chalk Cliffs" for six weeks in a place of honour in the Pomeranian State Museum. It is on loan from the Kunst Museum Winterthur to mark the anniversary year. In return, Greifswald is lending the Swiss art collection the paintings "The Ruins of Eldena in the Giant Mountains" and "The Rocky Gorge".

  • Another highlight is the big birthday party on 5 September 2024 on Greifswald's market square entitled "Cake for Caspar" to celebrate the artist in style before the eventful year ends with a light festival in autumn.

„Hiking, his family and then breeding canaries was his hobby.“ (Henriette Maxin)

2nd stop: Dresden

As attached as Friedrich was to his hometown, he moved to Dresden in 1798. The Saxon capital was the centre of his life for over 40 years. The surrounding area in particular, such as the Elbe Sandstone Mountains, inspired him to create some of his most internationally recognised motifs. He also visited the Giant Mountains, the Harz Mountains and northern Bohemia. The artist died in Dresden on 7 May 1840.

© Anja Upmeier

Friedrich's lifelines

  • A few minutes' walk from the Frauenkirche, in the Brühl Gardens in front of the Albertinum, you will find the monument to Caspar David Friedrich.

  • The impact of Romanticism on Dresden is brought to life in an authentic location: the Kügelgenhaus - Museum of Dresden Romanticism brings the formative period back to life. Nine themed rooms trace the lives of the Kügelgen family and their prominent guests, including Caspar David Friedrich.

  • You can visit Friedrich's final resting place at Trinitatisfriedhof cemetery. Today's grave site with a simple grave slab was designed in 1934 at the suggestion of the Saxon Heritage Society. You may recognise the two imposing gate pillars of the cemetery: they served Friedrich as a model for his painting "Cemetery Entrance".

  • If you would like to experience other sources of inspiration for the artist live, it is worth taking a trip to Saxon Switzerland. There are several motifs along the Malerweg that you might recognise from Friedrich's works. These include the Bastei, the Uttewalder Felsentor and the Kaiserkrone.

Our tips for the anniversary year 2024

  • In the exhibition "Wanderlust and travel frustration" at the Kraszewski Museum, you will learn about the points of contact in the motifs and worlds of German and Polish Romanticism. The Giant Mountains are just as much an artistic theme as Romantic landscape painting in the Bohemian mountains.
    From 6 December 2023 to 27 October 2024

  • Special exhibition "Caspar David Friedrich. Where it all began":
    With 14 works, the Albertinum has one of the largest collections of Friedrich's paintings from all creative phases, including "The Cross in the Mountains" (Tetschen Altarpiece), which caused great controversy at the time and made Friedrich famous. Among other things, 70 drawings and a sketchbook are kept in the Kupferstich-Kabinett. You can also view an extensive manuscript by Friedrich.
    Exhibition in the Kupferstich-Kabinett: 24 August 2024 to 17 November 2024
    Exhibition in the Albertinum: 24 August 2024 to 5 January 2025

  • You can also get closer to the painter in Dresden's neighbouring town at the StadtMuseumPirna in the special exhibition "Topography of Desire - In the Footsteps of Caspar David Friedrich". It juxtaposes the Romanticism of the time with today's realism.
    From 1 September 2024 to 3 November 2024

© Sven Döring DML BY
© Michael R. Hennig DML BY

"The painter should not only paint what he sees in front of him
but also what he sees within himself.
So if he sees nothing in himself, he should also refrain from painting
what he sees in front of him. C.D.F."

3rd stop: Hamburg

From "Caspar David Friedrich in his Studio" to "Tombs of Ancient Heroes", "The Wanderer above the Sea of Fog" and "Hill with Bruchacker near Dresden" - the Hamburger Kunsthalle holds an impressive number of important paintings by Friedrich.


Our tips for the anniversary year 2024

Why not take the anniversary year as an occasion to marvel at some of Friedrich's original masterpieces in the Hamburger Kunsthalle?

And while you're in Hamburg, don't miss the mural by Australian artist Fintan Magee. The artwork was created to mark the 250th anniversary in Hamburg's Potugiesenviertel district. A new interpretation of the "Wanderer above the fog" stretches across around 200 square metres on the façade above you. Alternatively, you can climb the famous Michel and look at the special street art from a slightly greater distance.
Location: Ditmar-Koel-Straße 19/corner of Reimarustraße, 20459 Hamburg

4th stop: Berlin

Berlin was already of great importance during Friedrich's lifetime: his works attracted particular attention and buyers there. Today, the Alte Nationalgalerie houses one of the world's largest collections of Friedrich's works.


© Francisco Anzola

Our tips for the anniversary year 2024

In the special exhibition "Caspar David Friedrich. Infinite Landscapes" in the Alte Nationalgalerie, you can find out what contribution the Nationalgalerie has made to the artist's current fame after he had been forgotten for some time. The "German Century Exhibition" in 1906, for example, plays a central role.

From 19 April 2024 to 4 August 2024

Travel tips: In the footsteps of Caspar David Friedrich

For groups, we offer the art tour "250 Years of Caspar David Friedrich 2024", on which you can discover the above-mentioned and many other sights related to Friedrich's life.

Would you like to travel individually in Caspar David Friedrich's footsteps? Then you may be interested in our hiking tours on the Malerweg "Hiking Tour on the Malerweg Part 1" and "Hiking Tour on the Malerweg Part 2", as well as our 10-day Complete Tour on the Malerweg and 8-day hiking tour on the Malerweg, on which you can experience the artist's sources of inspiration in Saxon Switzerland. You can round off your stay with our "Hiking on the Caspar David Friedrich Trail" or "Art PLUS: Caspar David Friedrich" experience packages with a further pinch of culture.

Discover our other Hiking Holiday Offers in Saxon Switzerland. Here you will find even more information about other highlights and sights in the Elbe Sandstone Mountains.

Credits: © AugustusTours; © Franz Koshorst; © Julien Coillard; © Gunnar Freise; © Michael R. Hennig DML BY; © Sven Döring DML BY; © Francisco Anzola; © Anja Upmeier; © TMV Sebastian Hugo Witzel