250 Years of Caspar David Friedrich
2024 marks the 250th anniversary of Caspar David Friedrich’s birth. The most important artist of the German early Romantic period spent a large part of his life in Dresden.
The Dresden State Art Collections are celebrating this anniversary with a major special exhibition. And on the Caspar David Friedrich Trail in Saxon Switzerland, the attentive hiker will also encounter the motifs that inspired the painter to create his wonderful pictures.
Find out here which events and highlights are planned for the Caspar David Friedrich Year in Dresden!
Picture: Caroline Bardua, Bildnis des Malers Caspar David Friedrich. bpk / Nationalgalerie, SMB / Andres Kilger
Special exhibition "Caspar David Friedrich. Wo alles begann"
For over 40 years, Dresden was the centre of life for the painter Caspar David Friedrich. It was here that he explored the works of the famous Gemäldegalerie and became involved in contemporary art debates.
It was in Dresden that the artist became the important German Romantic painter who is now better known internationally than ever before. To mark the 250th anniversary of his birth, the Dresden State Art Collections are dedicating a major exhibition to him in the Albertinum and the Kupferstich-Kabinett.
Exhibition in the Kupferstich-Kabinett
24 August until 17 November 2024
Picture: Caspar David Friedrich, Felsen an einem Waldweg (mit Blick in eine Schlucht), um 1810, Kupferstich-Kabinett, © SKD, Foto: Herbert Boswank
Exhibition at the Albertinum
24 August 2024 until 05 January 2025
Picture: Caspar David Friedrich,
Ausblick ins Elbtal, 1807
Albertinum, © SKD, Foto: Elke Estel/Hans-Peter Klut
Monument and grave site of Caspar David Friedrich
A memorial to the artist can be found directly in Dresden’s Altastadt. It was designed by the artist Wolf-Eike Kuntsche in 1990 and consists of a window, an easel and a commemorative plaque connected by poles. In the centre of the unusual structure is a chair. Caspar David Friedrich’s grave is in the Trinitatisf cemetery, which is one of the most important cemeteries in Dresden in terms of urban history and cultural history due to its artistic design.
Monument to Caspar David Friedrich
The monument to Caspar David Friedrich can be found in the Brühl Garden in front of the Albertinum, a few minutes’ walk from the Frauenkirche.
“The painter should not merely paint what he sees in front of him
but also what he sees in himself.
If therefore he sees nothing in himself, he should also refrain from painting, what he sees before him. C.D.F.”
Grave at the Trinitatis cemetery
The final resting place of C. D. Friedrich is located at the Trinitatis cemetery. A simple grave slab covers the painter’s final resting place. The present gravesite was designed in 1934 at the suggestion of the Saxon Heritage Society.
The two imposing gate pillars of the cemetery served Friedrich as a model for his painting “Cemetery Entrance”.
Further exhibitions on Romanticism in Dresden
Dresden offers many opportunities to get closer to the art and person of Caspar David Friedrich: in uplifting art exhibitions, at events, guided tours, hands-on activities in the “Valley of Romanticism” from the Elbland to Saxon Switzerland. With Caspar David Friedrich, the visitor should not only pay attention to “what he sees before him, but also what he sees within himself”. A journey with leisure. Here you can find more exhibitions on Romanticism in Dresden:
The Albertinum shows all facets of Romanticism
German Romantic art is one of the main attractions of the Albertinum. The gallery brings together major works from the 19th century by Caspar David Friedrich, Carl Gustav Carus, Ernst Friedrich Oehme and Ludwig Richter and juxtaposes them in a stimulating dialogue with modern and contemporary works.
Kügelgenhaus – Museum of Romanticism in Dresden
The extent to which Romanticism affected Dresden can be fully appreciated in an authentic setting – the Kügelgenhaus Museum of Dresden Romanticism. This formative period blossoms again as nine themed rooms trace the lives of the Kügelgen family and their prominent guests.
Exhibition at the Kraszewski Museum
“Von Wanderlust und Reisefrust” from 6 December 2023 to 27 October 2024
The exhibition shows points of contact in motifs and lifeworlds of German and Polish Romanticism. Thus, the Krkonoše Mountains are as much an artistic theme as romantic landscape painting in the Bohemian mountains.
Caspar David Friedrich Trail
Caspar David Friedrich was a convinced “slow traveller” – he just didn’t know it yet. When the famous painter travelled, he did so leisurely on foot, always in the same grey travel coat and with frequent sketching stops. Carriage rides were too fast for him; he did not want to let the impressions pass by fleetingly, but to absorb them in a lasting way.
Why not take a mindful walk yourself in the footsteps of the early Romantic? The Caspar David Friedrich Trail takes you from Krippen along the Elbe up to Schöna and the Kaiserkrone. Over the Wolfsberg and through Reinhardtsdorf, it ends back in Krippen. On almost 15 kilometres and ten information boards, you will learn more about the life and motives of Caspar David Friedrich.
Picture: Kleiner Winterberg/Raubschloss. Jacueline Voigt
More cultural highlights in Dresden
Dresden Music Festival
The Dresden Music Festival is one of the largest and most renowned classical music festivals in Europe. Experience a diverse programme of 63 events at 22 venues from 18 May to 18 June 2023.
Gemäldegalerie Alte Meister (Old Masters Picture Gallery)
A newly designed exhibition is presented in the extensively renovated Semper Building at the Zwinger. The world-famous paintings are in harmony with small bronzes and marble works vis-à-vis.
International Dixieland Festival Dresden
Do you love jazz and swing? Then make a note of 14 to 21 May 2023! Look forward to 37 bands and soloists from nine countries at 38 events at this year’s Dixieland Festival.