Woman with Raven at the Abyss

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Caspar David Friedrich (German, 1774–1840)
Woman with Raven at the Abyss, 1803
block: 6 3/4 × 4 11/16 in. (17.15 × 11.91 cm) sheet: 9 1/4 × 6 7/8 in. (23.5 × 17.46 cm)
Purchase, René von Schleinitz Memorial Fund M2001.54
Photo credit: John R. Glembin
Not Currently on View

One of only four woodcuts credited to Caspar David Friedrich, the undisputed master of German Romanticism, The Woman with the Raven at the Abyss shows the close connection between landscape and human emotion in Friedrich's art. Standing at the edge of a deep chasm, a woman turns toward the viewer, surrounded by emblems of transience, isolation and death: fallen trees, craggy peaks, two ravens, and a snake winding menacingly on the ground. Probably intended as an illustration for a book of Friedrich's own poems, the design was cut into the woodblock by Friedrich's brother, a cabinet-maker by trade.

Publication History
Makholm, Kristin. Nineteenth–Century German Prints and Drawings from the Milwaukee Art Museum. Milwaukee, Wisconsin: Milwaukee Art Museum, 2002, p. 34, cat. 4, b/w illus. p. 12.
Exhibition History
Framing a Decade: Acquisitions of Prints and Drawings, 2001–2011, Milwaukee Art Museum, Decebmer 9, 2010–April 3, 2011.

Romanticism to Impressionism: Nineteenth–Century German Prints and Drawings from the René von Schleinitz Memorial Fund, Milwaukee Art Museum, May 24, 2002–August 11, 2002.

This information is subject to change as the result of ongoing research.