Wanderer above the Sea of Fog is an oil painting by German artist Caspar David Friedrich. It depicts a young man standing upon a rocky precipice with his back to the viewer. The world in front of him seems endless in an almost paradoxical manner, the same way we can argue that what we do not see does not exist.
I wrote about this painting in one of my novellas, about what it means, what it’s supposed to mean, how it makes me feel.
Here’s the except:
“Did I ever tell you about my favorite painting?”
He shakes his head.
“It’s a painting called “Wanderer above the sea of fog” by this German painter… Caspar David Friedrich. It represents this guy who’s standing on a cliff, only the sky above his head, and everything around him is surrounded by mist.
He’s writing something down, trying to find perverse mysteries in what I just said.
”It kind of leaves you breathless for an instant,” I say.
“And what does it all mean?”
“This painting has as many meanings as the people who have seen it.”
“Then, what does it mean to you?”
It takes me a while to think of something to say. Maybe because the things we love the most are the ones we understand the least. Or maybe my brain’s not as fast as it used to be. Either way, it’s tragic. “Well, to me it just means that even if you reach the top of the world, the rest of your life is a misty unknown.” – Dream City and Other Stories