Met Announces First Major Caspar David Friedrich Exhibition in the US

Opening in February 2025, Caspar David Friedrich: The Soul of Nature will feature over 75 works by the most iconic artist of German Romanticism.

Apr 3, 2024By Emily Snow, MA History of Art, BA Art History & Curatorial Studies
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In 2025, the most comprehensive American exhibition featuring the art of Caspar David Friedrich, a leading figure in 19th-century German Romanticism, will be held at The Metropolitan Museum of Art.

 

“The very first major retrospective of Germany’s most beloved painter in the United States follows the celebrations of his work on the occasion of the artist’s 250th birthday this year,” said Max Hollein, the Marina Kellen French Director and Chief Executive Officer of The Met, in yesterday’s press release. “We are thrilled to collaborate with our German museum colleagues and many other generous lenders on this rare opportunity to reflect on Friedrich’s portrayals of nature and the human condition.”

 

Famous Friedrich Paintings To Visit U.S. For The First Time

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Wanderer Above the Sea of Fog by Caspar David Friedrich, c. 1818, via Hamburger Kunsthalle, Hamburg

 

While Friedrich’s work has long been internationally renowned, only two smaller exhibitions in the United States have ever been exclusively dedicated to his work. Caspar David Friedrich: The Soul of Nature at The Met will feature over 75 artworks from international collections, making it the largest and most comprehensive selection of Friedrich’s work to be exhibited in the United States.

 

Caspar David Friedrich is remembered for radically reimagining traditional landscape painting in Germany and beyond. Rather than viewing the historically undervalued genre of landscape art as a nationalistic or documentary tool, Friedrich tapped into the natural world to express sublime spiritual themes and the dramatic complexity of individual emotions in his paintings—an approach that profoundly influenced American landscape artists and that continues to resonate with contemporary audiences.

 

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Wanderer Above the Sea of Fog and Monk by the Sea by Caspar David Friedrich are among the most evocative and the most famous examples of German Romantic landscape painting. For the first time since their creation in the early 19th century, these works will travel from Germany to the United States for The Met’s groundbreaking retrospective.

 

Unprecedented International Loans And Collaborations

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Two Men Contemplating the Moon by Caspar David Friedrich, c. 1825-30, via the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York City

 

The Friedrich retrospective at The Met has been organized in collaboration with the three German institutions who own much of Friedrich’s oeuvre: the Hamburger Kunsthalle in Hamburg, the Alte Nationalgalerie in Berlin, and the Staatliche Kunstsammlungen in Dresden. After these institutions present their own Friedrich exhibitions in 2024 in celebration of the artist’s 250th birthday, they plan to offer significant loans to The Met for its 2025 retrospective.

 

In another exciting first, The Met will unite all five Friedrich paintings currently owned by American museums. Additionally, The Met has negotiated with dozens of other public and private lenders across North America and Europe to offer an unprecedented lineup of Friedrich’s work in the United States. Beyond oil paintings, rarer works on paper have been especially selected to introduce American audiences to lesser-known facets of Friedrich’s career.

 

Caspar David Friedrich Retrospective Details

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The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City, New York, via Wikipedia

 

Caspar David Friedrich: The Soul of Nature is set to showcase over 75 artworks by the titular artist including oil paintings, finished drawings, and in-progress sketches, as well as a relevant selection of works by Friedrich’s contemporaries. The exhibition will chronologically and thematically explore every phase of Friedrich’s illustrious 40-year career and position his art within the fascinating contexts of 19th-century German society and international Romanticism.

 

The retrospective will be open to the public at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City from February 8 to May 11, 2025.

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By Emily SnowMA History of Art, BA Art History & Curatorial StudiesEmily Snow is a contributing writer and art historian based in Amsterdam. She earned an MA in art history from the Courtauld Institute of Art and loves knitting, her calico cat, and everything Victorian.