high romantic windows


Creator: Friedrich, Caspar David, 1774-1840.
Date: ca. 1825
Date destroyed or lost: 1931
Nationality: German
Medium: Oil on canvas
Object dimensions: 30 x 22 cm
Former repository: Amsler & Ruthardt Gallery, Berlin
Circumstances of destruction or loss: Destroyed 1931 in fire at the Glass Palace, Munich
Notes: For additional information see: Borsch-Supan, Helmut. 1973. Caspar David Friedrich; Gemalde, Druckgraphik und bildmassige Zeichnungen. Munchen: Prestel-Verlag, cat. no. 331.
Subject: World War, 1939-1945 -- Destruction and pillage -- Germany
World War, 1939-1945 -- Art and the war
Art treasures in war
Figures -- Female
Mother and child
Glaspalast (Munich, Germany)
Photo description: Unlabeled clipping
Source: Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute Library Photo Archive, 225 South Street, Williamstown MA, 01267
Type: Painting
Collection: Lost Art

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  1. remarkable collection that is.

  2. and why is it that it pleases me that even art is lost? but it does. and so we must always look harder, feel harder, be harder. this is the necessity, to brand it all upon us, we who will be lost.

    we had a chalk festival in our small town a few years ago. actually, we had it for a few years, too, and every year upon closing, upon the bad microphone giving feedback and the clapping dying out and the tents being folded up and the stray dogs taking back the streets again, it would rain. all of the beautiful work would begin to leave us. the children and i would run in circles in our side yard, just a few streets from the festival, remembering and imagining.


  3. thank you, erin.

    yes, i know that this is the wise take at this matter, and that only our acceptance and even ability to rejoice in the 'impermanence of things', as the japanese would put it, is the key to our redemption... yet there is another part in me, the part which despairs at loss and will never be able to accept it (rage, rage against the dying of the light) - this (sometimes tender, sometimes unbearable and wild) despair makes me so in love with photography, which is to me, among other things, the obsession with fighting loss, refusing to let even the most insignificant aspect or mood of the world pass, disappear forever, without a trace...

    and of course, i think there is a difference between such art (as chalk drawing, or performance etc.) which has impermanence as a key feature at its aesthetic core - and art as painting or writing, which understands itself as an expression of the human will of transcending time (or at least aiming at that)... art as the only power of preserving, allowed to us:

    "Not a thing will ever happen unless I say so.
    Without my blessing, not a leaf will fall,
    not a blade of grass will bend beneath that little hoof's full stop.

    Is there then a world
    where I rule absolutely on fate?
    A time I bind with chains of signs?
    An existence become endless at my bidding?

    The joy of writing.
    The power of preserving.
    Revenge of a mortal hand."

    Wislawa Szymborska (from The Joy of Writing)

  4. It is confining to experience the world in acts.
    We begin to think our acts are somehow the world:
    all those people, narrative histories,
    who felt what to whom and how and what
    they did and what we did ourselves. Oh, no,
    that isn't the world. I sit quiet, aware.
    How very large the world is.

    William Bonk (The Action)