the wanderer above the mist


A Game of Caspar David Friedrich

While you may not recognize his name, if you’re a reader of classic Romantic and Gothic literature, you undoubtedly recognize his paintings. German painter Caspar David Friedrich’s gorgeous and evocative landscapes seem custom made for book covers. Case in point, the seven paintings on the left are currently being used, or have previously been used, as cover art. Click on the picture to discover in the caption which book uses that painting for its cover.

  • Portrait of the artist, c. 1810–20
  • The Wanderer above the Mists
  • Chalk Cliffs on Rügen
  • Woman at a Window
  • Woman before the Rising Sun (Woman before the Setting Sun)
  • Moonrise Over the Sea
  • Man and Woman Contemplating the Moon
  • The Abbey in the Oakwood

“Confined on the ship, from which there is no escape, the madman is delivered to the river with its thousand arms, the sea with its thousand roads, to that great uncertainty external to everything. He is a prisoner in the midst of what is the freest, the openest of routes: bound fast at the infinite crossroads. He is the Passenger par excellence: that is, the prisoner of the passage. And the land he will come to is unknown—as is, once he disembarks, the land from which he comes. He has his truth and his homeland only in that fruitless expanse between two countries that cannot belong to him.” 

― Michel Foucault, Madness and Civilization: A History of Insanity in the Age of Reason