Shop art print and framed art Abbey among Oak Trees by Caspar David Friedrich

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Subjects : Landscape
Keywords : Painting, evening, landscape, Painting, tomb
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To fully enjoy «Abbey among Oak Trees» by Caspar David Friedrich, we recommend the medium size (60x95.2 cm) printed on hand stretched canvas, with the gilded mouldings - thin frame.
The artwork

Abbey among Oak Trees

The Abbey in the Oakwood : immersion in Caspar David Friedrich's masterpiece

Among the many works that make up the pictorial career of the famous German painter Caspar David Friedrich, The Abbey in the Oakwood is undoubtedly one of the most emblematic.Spearheading German Romanticism and among the most innovative paintings of its time, this masterpiece plunges us into a world that is both mystical and melancholy, testifying to the artist's spiritual and aesthetic preoccupations.

Birth and history of the Abbey in an oak forest

Painted between 1809 and 1810, The Abbey in the Oakwood takes its roots in the particular context of early 19th-century Germany. At the time, the region was marked by the Napoleonic Wars, the rise of German nationalism and the rise of the Romantic movement in Europe. The artist then drew his inspiration from these cultural and political upheavals to give birth to this work charged with symbolism and meaning.

According to art historians, the idea for this painting came to Friedrich during a trip to Saxony, where he was struck by the beauty of nature and the mystical atmosphere emanating from the place. It was on his return to his studio that the artist is said to have begun work on this monumental painting, measuring almost 3 metres wide and for 2 metres high.

A committed choice of subject

For "The Abbey in the Oakwood", Friedrich chose to depict a Gothic Ruin, a strong symbol of Germany's medieval past and evocative of ancestral Christian values. This choice is not insignificant: it is part of a desire to reconnect with a glorious past in the face of the political and social upheavals of the time. The theme of ruins thus constitutes a veritable manifesto for German Romanticism, and enables Friedrich to position himself as one of the pioneers of this innovative artistic movement.

Visual description of the work

The Abbey in the Oakwood presents a majestic, uncluttered composition in which natural and architectural elements are closely intertwined. In the foreground, we discover a funeral procession made up of monks and faithful slowly making their way through the abbey's cemetery. This humble and solemn procession contrasts with the spectacular display of trees and stones surrounding them.

A mysterious and profound atmosphere

The painting is dominated by a dark and haunting atmosphere, accentuated by the use of cold colours and subdued lighting. This mystical atmosphere is reinforced by the contrast between the shadowy area at the bottom and the halo of light that bathes the upper part of the painting. This compositional effect creates a spotlight under the trees and emphasises the imposing presence of the centuries-old oaks and abandoned remains.

In addition, the melancholy that emanates from the work is accentuated by the representation of time passing: the gnarled, bare and twisted trees bear witness to their advanced age, while the ruins testify inexorably to the decay of the past. This duality between life and death suggests a meditation on human existence and its fragility.

The Abbey in the Oakwood : a turning point in Caspar David Friedrich's artistic journey

The Abbey in the Oakwood represents a real milestone in the artist's career. Its creation perfectly illustrates the evolution of his pictorial style, marked by the search for a symbiosis between man, history and nature. Through his bold iconographic and technical choices, Friedrich succeeds in giving birth to a mysterious and poetic world, where past and present meet and intertwine.


This artwork is a painting from the classical period. It belongs to the romanticism style.


Find the full description of Abbey among Oak Trees by Caspar David Friedrich on Wikipedia.

The artist

Caspar David Friedrich

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Caspar David Friedrich

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