Caspar David Friedrich

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Caspar David Friedrich
Moonlit Landscape
before 1808
Watercolor and opaque watercolor; the moon, cut-and-pasted insert.
9 1/8 x 14 3/8 inches (232 x 365 mm); secondary support: 9 1/2 x 14 5/8 inches (239 x 372 mm)
Thaw Collection.

While Friedrich's paintings often feature a moon partially veiled behind clouds, in this work he made the full moon the focal point of the drawing. To emphasize the bright moonlight, Friedrich cut a circle out of the watercolor and then pasted unpainted paper over the hole. With the drawing lit from behind by candlelight, the moon would seem to glow, lighting the pond and the white birch tree in contrast to the dark ground. -- Exhibition Label, from "Drawn to Greatness: Master Drawings from the Thaw Collection"

Catherina Dorothea Sponholz (1766-1808), the artist's sister; Caroline Sponholz, the artist's niece; F. Pflugradt, Zingst (a descendant of the Sponholz family; until 1941); Galerie Meissner, Zurich; Eugene V. and Clare E. Thaw, New York.
Associated names: 

Sponholz, Catherina Dorothea, 1766-1808, former owner.
Sponholz, Caroline, former owner.
Pflugradt, F., former owner.
Thaw, Eugene Victor, former owner.
Thaw, Clare, former owner.


The Morgan Library & Museum, New York, NY, "Drawn to Greatness: Master Drawings from the Thaw Collection", 2017. Exh. cat., no. 133, repr.
Stampfle, Felice, and Cara D. Denison. Drawings from the Collection of Mr. and Mrs. Eugene V. Thaw. New York : Pierpont Morgan Library, 1975, no. 107, repr. (also in Thaw III, no. 52)
Denison, Cara D. The Thaw Collection : Master Drawings and New Acquisitions. New York : Pierpont Morgan Library, 1994, no. 52, repr.
From Leonardo to Pollock: Master drawings from the Morgan Library. New York: Morgan Library, 2006, cat. no. 56, p. 120-121.