Tondar's Daily Rant

Prepare yourself for the writings of Tondar the Destroyer, Baron of Atlanta, Rightful Heir to the Throne of Spain, from whom all babies come. As his will be blogged, so let it be done.

Saturday, February 02, 2008


After visiting Berlin's Alte Nationalgalerie I have become a big fan of German Romanticist painting. The movement sought to show man's place in the natural world. These scenes always portrayed a moment of high drama in this interaction. This was a 19th Century movement as Germany was trying to find itself as a nation of cultured people instead of the bloodthirsty barbarians of history that are famous for sacking Rome and invading England. Through the scenes put forward by the romanticists they established German lands as a place of beauty that inspires contemplation and greatness.

Casper David Friedrich (1774-1840) is probably the most famous Romanticist and is featured prominantly in the Alte Nationalgalerie. And I was recently drawn to his painting, "Wanderer Above the Sea of Fog." Of course the first thing you notice is the curly hair wanderer, all front lit and starring out at the expanse of mountains and fog. Like Goya's Great He-Goat this manipulation of light is intentional. We are to focus on the surroundings, and like the wanderer we are supposed to be contemplating our place in the world around us. The swirling brushstrokes of the fog conceal mystery while shrouding the world like in a great white blanket. On the other hand, our eyes are also drawn to the sharp peaks of the dangerous mountains. Finally, the way the colors dance across the dawn, at the far end of the scape tie together the three elements of life represented here: mystery, danger, and beauty.

I was drawn to this painting because of the man's position atop the mountain. In a way, that is where Tondar sits today. With a great girl like Mistress Angela, and a great job telling people how to sell foreclosed property, Tondar's grown up and doing alright. Now there is still plenty of work to be done, but like the wanderer, I can certainly take a moment to reflect on the hardships of the wandering climbs and the mystery, danger, and beauty of the next phase in my life.


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