Friedrich completed this painting in 1811 and it can now be found as part of the collection of Gallery of Old and New Masters, Staatliches Museum Schwerin / Ludwigslust / Güstrow. Religion also played a part in this artist's scenes, though sometimes he would do so in a fairly subtle manner. It is only when studying the artist's career in detail that his additions of symbolism become clear. Some might find his work drab, or too dark, but this was an intentional manner by which he delivered his artistic messages.

The larger image at the bottom of this page allows us to enjoy more of the detail in this painting. We can make out a single figure in the centre, surrounded by tree stumps and a thick covering of snow. The trees nearest us have had no human interaction and just been left to rot away through old age. They look unhealthy and also the largest one, nearest us, leans uncomfortably to the right. It gives an atmosphere of devastation and neglect. Many of Friedrich's paintings make use of symbolism, could these trees be representing humanity?

Caspar David Friedrich was inspired by the natural world, particularly his native Germany. The same can be said about John Constable and JMW Turner in their travels around the UK and parts of Europe. Something similar also occurred in North America with the Hudson River School group, such as Albert Bierstadt, Thomas Cole and Frederic Edwin Church. Most of these great names would not place humanity within their scenes, or certainly not in the style that Friedrich did. He wanted to more than just depict what he saw in front of him, to add elements of symbolism within it too.

Winter Landscape in Detail Caspar David Friedrich