BC Aesthetics Culture

The Beauty of Our Commons

The work of German architect and painter Karl Friedrich Schinkel (1781-1841). Though he had studied architecture from an incredibly young age, Schinkel adored painting above all. He made a modest living as an artist for some time, but turned to architecture permanently after seeing Caspar David Fridrich’s ‘Wanderer Above the Sea Fog’ at an exhibition in Berlin in 1810, and feeling he may never be masterful enough to do the field justice. In painting, Schinkel’s most visible influence was the Romantic; in architecture, he took his inspiration from the neo-Classical and neo-Gothic movements of his time. His most notable structures can still be found in and around Berlin: Altes Museum, Friedrichswerdersche Church, Konzerthaus Berlin; and since his death, he has been increasingly celebrated as a painter. In both fields, his attention to detail and ability to conjure atmosphere are almost unparalleled. Schinkel was a true Great — a constant reminder of the heights our Western creatives can reach, and beauty we are able to bring to our collective commons. ❤️ Images: ‘Medieval City on a River’, 1815; ‘Gothic Cathedral on a Rock by the Sea’, 1815; (3+4) Altes Museum, built 1823-1830; (5+6) Fridrichswerdersche Church, built 1824-1831; (7+8) Konzerthaus Berlin, 1818-1821.

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