Lot 63
  • 63

Caspar David Friedrich

200,000 - 300,000 GBP
bidding is closed


  • Caspar David Friedrich
  • Blick auf Arkona, Rügen (View towards Arkona, Rügen)
  • pen and ink, brush and ink, pencil and wash on paper
  • 60 by 96cm., 23¾ by 37¾in.


Possibly, Prinz Wilhelm and Marianne von Hessen-Homburg, Berliner Stadtschloss
Acquired circa 1900 by the family of the present owners; thence by descent


Helmut Börsch-Supan & Karl Wilhelm Jähning, Caspar David Friedrich. Gemälde, Druckgrafik und bildmässige Zeichnungen, Munich, 1973, no. 129, p. 285, catalogued & illustrated

Catalogue Note

Executed circa 1803, this is one of seven drawings of varying size and detail (Börsch Supan nos. 94, 95, 96, 97, 98, 128, and 129) Friedrich worked up from an ink sketch he made on the beach at Vitt on the island of Rügen on Germany's Baltic coast on 22 June 1801 (fig. 1). The sketch is now in the Dresdner Kupferstich Kabinett. The present view looks north towards Kap Arkona, the island's northern cape. Friedrich returned to the subject of a beached boat surrounded by rocks, a symbol of the completion of life's journey, in 1837, in an ink drawing now in the Hermitage in St Petersburg.

A watercolour by Carl Beckmann of Prinz Wilhelm and Marianne von Hessen-Homburg's apartment in the Berliner Stadtschloss, made shortly after their wedding in 1804, clearly shows four drawings of Rügen by Friedrich adorning their bedroom. Judging by the size of the room it appears that the drawings were approximately the same size as the present work, leading Helmut Börsch-Supan to surmise that the present drawing might be one of the four that hung in the Stadtschloss until Prince Wilhelm's death in 1851. Rügen's dramatic coast went on to inspire one of Friedrich's most iconic paintings, Chalk Cliffs of Rügen of 1818 (Oskar Reinhart Museum, Winterthur).