Caspar David Friedrich, Abbey in the Oakwood, 1809–10
A funeral procession of monks trudge through the snow towards all that remains of a decrepit Gothic gate in this morbidly eerie scene. They are heading towards an open grave marked by a crucifix. With only two dimly lit candles to navigate the misty twilight, the monks bear a coffin. In the foreground and middle ground one can spot an array of grave markers, mostly in form of crosses. To further enhance the Gothic experience, Caspar David Freidrich has painted oak trees as a symbol of the old Pagan way of life.
For 19th century locals this scene would have looked familiar as
the artist has depicted the ruined Cistertian abbey, located in Eldena, just three miles from Greifswald, his place of birth.
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