The Wanderer Above the Sea of Fog, Caspar David Friedrich (1818).
The Wanderer Above the Sea of Fog reflects the intense melancholy and isolation present in romantic art and literature. The man, possibly the artist himself, stands above a sea of fog with his back to the viewer, staring into vast landscape before him, encouraging the viewer to gaze with him. The milky white fog beneath the man adds to the mystery of the painting. Although he is standing at the top of a hill, he is dwarfed by his surroundings, emphasized by the rise of the mountains in the distance.
The romantic movement had an almost pantheistic relationship with nature, in that the romantics greatly revered and admired nature. Friedrich especially was fascinated by the isolation and splendor found in the rugged mountains and forests of Germany. Dramatic settings encouraged the exploration of psychological and spiritual themes in romantic art. This romanticizing of the natural world was partly a reaction to the swift modernization of the world in the nineteenth century, when many people turned to nature for refuge from a rapidly changing world.