Monday, November 19, 2018

Two-Sided Paintings on Transparent Paper

Caspar David Friedrich, Mountainous River Landscape (Night Version)
Caspar David Friedrich (German 1774-1840) experimented with painting landscapes on translucent paper that could be lit up from behind. 
"In 1830 Friedrich was commissioned by Alexander, the heir to the Russian throne, to produce four transparent pictures. Executed on transparent paper and lit from behind in a dark room, the pictures would be viewed as an ensemble to the accompaniment of music. In 1835 the four transparent pictures were dispatched to St Petersburg together with the equipment needed to display them - unfortunately, they are now lost. In Kassel, however, a similar example survives, a Mountainous River Landscape painted on both sides of a single piece of transparent paper. When correctly lit, one side reveals itself to be a version of the composition seen in daylight, while the other side portrays the same scene at night."
Caspar David Friedrich, Mountainous River Landscape (Day Version)
Here's the day version. Presumably, one of them is flopped.
Via: Web Gallery of Art
Caspar David Friedrich on Wikipedia


Tobias Gembalski said...

In our local art museum (Moritzburg,Halle/Saale,Germany) you can look at the "Ruins of the Oybin Monastery". The combination of painting and special lighting is very thrilling, it elevates the realism of the painting very much.

Jim Williams said...

A similar effect is created when digital photos of artwork are viewed on screen. It adds an illusion of light emanating from the painting. A friend recently commented about the 'light' in one of my modest creations and it was merely this effect.