(b Greifswald, Sept 5, 1774; d Dresden, May 7, 1840).
German painter, draughtsman, and printmaker. Along with Phillip Otto Runge, he was the leading artist of the German Romantic movement, notable especially for his symbolic and atmospheric treatment of landscape (see fig.).
After receiving a general education with a private tutor, Friedrich studied drawing and etching from 1790 to 1794 with Johann Gottfried Quistorp (1755–1835), drawing teacher at the university in Greifswald. From 1794 until 1798 he studied at the Akademi for de Skønne Kunster in Copenhagen, where his most important teachers were Nicolai Abraham Abildgaard, Jens Juel, Christian August Lorentzen (1749–1828), and Johannes Wiedewelt (1759–1802). The influence of Danish painting, especially that of Juel and Abildgaard, was strong and is evident even in his later years; Juel’s landscapes were notable for their clarity of composition and Abildgaard encouraged Friedrich’s enthusiasm for the mythology and history of the Scandinavian and Germanic peoples. Friedrich swiftly developed a confident and disciplined manner, as seen in the pen-and-wash drawing ...