Friedrich was born in 1774, the son of a candle maker. Though born in Pomerania on the Baltic, he was raised in Dresden, Germany, where he had a strict, Protestant upbringing, marred early in his life by an incident in which he fell through some ice. In rescuing him, his older brother drowned. His brother's death was to profoundly effect him for the rest of his life. He was a deeply sad and melancholy individual. He was forty years old before he married, and then to a girl 22 years his junior. She bore him three children. A product of the illustrious Copenhagen Academy, Friedrich spent his entire life in Germany, where his exquisitely detailed, modest-sized landscapes each come loaded with solemn symbolism relating to his deep awareness of his own mortality. The Stages of Life, painted in 1835, just five years before his death, is one such work.
|The Stages of Life, 1835,|
Caspar David Friedrich