Wanderer above the Sea of Fog (1818) and Chalk Cliffs on Rügen (1818) by Casper David Friedrich.
Landscape appeared almost as the product of distance, but whereas territorial awareness presupposed a certain degree of interest or greed, landscape sensitivity, at least according to Kantian aesthetics, was inseparable from disinterestedness. Such disinterestedness was, for instance, at the core of the Romantic attitude towards natural scenery that a painting like Caspar David Friedrich’s Wanderer Above a Sea of Fog (c 1817) conveys particularly well. Contrary to what is often assumed by historiography, territory and landscape in their traditional meanings, represented distinct and complementary perspectives, both based on an estrangement from immediate experience.
The second image expresses a condition where humanity has begun to wander out of and break the conceptual divide that separated natural world and man. I want to live in the second world. The sublime as a spectacle only encourages complacency.
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