Congratulation to The Saint Louis Art Museum who has acquired “Sunburst in the Riesengebirge,” by the German painter Caspar David Friedrich. The museum purchased the painting at Sotheby’s in London for a total price of $2.75 million. The painting will be on view in early 2019.
“As the leading German painter of the first half of the 19th century, Friedrich had an extraordinary influence on the generations of German artists who followed him,” Benjamin said. “‘Sunburst in the Riesengebirge’ will have a transformative presence as a cornerstone of the Saint Louis Art Museum’s renowned collection of modern German art.”
The painting likely was inspired by Friedrich’s 1810 walking tour of the Riesengebirge, or Giant Mountains, a range located along today’s border between Czech Republic and Poland. Scholars believe that the mountain hikes provided the basis for many of Friedrich’s later landscapes. However, as with much of Friedrich’s work, the painting does not depict an actual location. Rather, “Sunburst in the Riesengebirge” is an exemplifies Friedrich’s symbolic approach to landscape painting, said Simon Kelly, curator of modern and contemporary art at the Saint Louis Art Museum. “The painting is a beautiful representation of light, and sums up Friedrich’s approach to landscape as symbolic of the wider themes of life, death and the promise of eternity,” Kelly said.