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Wanderer above the Sea of Fog is perhaps the most iconic Rückenfigur in German Romantic painting …
Rückenfigur, the back-figure is a pictorial theme with significant power.
The figure is seen from behind, generally absorbed in contemplation of what is in front of him;
the viewer identifies with him, entering more into the dimension of painting.
The Rückenfigur, apparently anodyne but strategic and distinctive, reappeared in painting from the Trecento onwards ...
Rückenfigur ...
back figure in paintings
Italian Renaissance
Giotto di Bondone
Raffaello Sanzio
Giotto's Lamentation of Christ is an early example of non-subject figures turned from the viewer.
Raphael developed the back figure into a more and more dynamic and dramatic figure by increasingly using gestures to express emotions.
Figures with their backs in the most expressive and dramatically intense scene …
saddened figures,
an arid landscape with a rocky mountain,
a dry tree underlines the desolation by the death of Christ
Giotto di Bondonne
Lamentation, The Mourning of Christ
Lamentation sur le Christ mort
Lamentación sobre Cristo muerto
1304-1306
Cappella Scrovegni (Arena Chapel), Padua
The work depicts Pope Leo IV halting a fire in 847 with a benediction from a balcony
in front of the Old St. Peter's Basilica.
…
the back figures serve to draw the viewer in the drama of the historical event …
In the foreground, people are desperately trying to put out the fire
and
a woman dressed in yellow, with her back to us,
implores them to turn to the only effective source of help: the Pope.
Raffaello Sanzio
Fire in the Borgo
L'Incendie du Bourg
El incendio del Borgo
1514
Musei Vaticani, Apostolic Palace, Vatican City
Dutch painting of the 17th century
Gerard Terborch
Samuel van Hoogstraten
Johannes Vermeer
In Dutch painting in the second half of the 17th century, the back figure gained importance due to the need for a new representation of interiority
and privacy in the picture.
The back figure was a reflexive compromise between showing and concealing.
a bedchamber ...
a large dog with glaring eyes,
an older but still fashionable woman
a young man, his sword still hanging from his belt and his hat resting in his lap
gazing intently
at a girl in a magnificent satin gown.
Is he making an indecent proposal?
With her back turned, her reaction remains hidden from us.
(... And what’s a dog doing in this bedroom scene?)
Gerard ter Borch II
The Gallant Conversation, known as Paternal Admonition
Conversation galante, connu comme L’Admonestation paternelle
Conversación galante, anteriormente La amonestación paterna
1654
Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam
broom put away,
slippers hurriedly thrown,
open book
and
in the background
The Gallant Conversation by Ter Borch,
a painting with gallant, if not moralising, overtones ...
...
activities have been interrupted,
something must be going on out of sight ...
perhaps a love affair
Samuel van Hoogstraten
Intérieur hollandais, Les Pantoufles
Perspective of a dutch interior viewed from a doorway, The slippers
Un interior de casa en Holanda, Las zapatillas
1658
Musée du Louvre, Paris
The Painter …
Who is this man sitting with his back to us as he works on painting at the easel in front of him?
It is tempting to think that it is Vermeer himself, but there is nothing to suggest that it is.
the back figure of the painter is the reflexive center of an allegory,
with symbolic objects which also have to do with the process or concealment:
the plaster mask on the table, the book in the hand of the model, the map on the wall or the curtain
... and
a chair invites the viewer to take a seat.
Johannes Vermeer
The Art of Painting
L'Art de la peinture
El arte de la pintura
1666-1668
Kunsthistorisches Museum, Vienna
German Romanticism of the 19th century
Caspar David Friedrich
Carl Gustav Carus
Rückenfigur ... ‘back-figure’
into vogue in the landscape paintings of German Romantic artists of the early nineteenth century, in particular those of Caspar David Friedrich and his followers.
The back figure became the central theme of landscape painting. Isolated in the landscape, maintaining a dialogue with nature.
A back figure, anonymous and as mysterious as the view …
The wanderer and we look an almost impenetrable sea of ​​fog in the midst of a rocky landscape …
that instant in which man is overwhelmed by beauty, natural or spiritual.
Caspar David Friedrich
Wanderer above the Sea of Fog
Le Voyageur contemplant une mer de nuages ou Le Voyageur au-dessus de la mer de nuages
El caminante sobre el mar de nubes
1817
Hamburger Kunsthalle, Hamburg
The sea, distant, enormous, unreachable,
the sailboats, perhaps depictions of the souls of men departing for the Eternal,
three anonymous characters with their backs to the viewer,
two men and a woman, who could well be you and me ...
Caspar David Friedrich
Chalk Cliffs on Rügen
Falaises de craie sur l'île de Rügen
Acantilados blancos en Rügen
1818-1819
Kunst Museum Winterthur Reinhart am Stadtgarten, Winterthur
the magnitude of the universe,
the contrast of light and shade
a night sky,
a calm sea
dark silhouettes of three figures with their backs turned, moved by this wonder of nature,
two women and a man sit on the rock, gazing two sailing ships pursuing
their ghostly course across the water
Caspar David Friedrich
Moonrise by the Sea
Lever de lune sur la mer
Luna saliendo sobre el mar
1822
Alte Nationalgalerie, Berlin
A man and a woman backs towards the viewer ...
a mountain forest,
a dramatically contorted, uprooted oak
and
the reassuring celestial light of the moon that permeates the atmosphere with a solemn stillness
Caspar David Friedrich
Man and Woman Contemplating the Moon
Homme et femme contemplant la Lune
Hombre y mujer contemplando la luna,
1824
Alte Nationalgalerie, Berlin
The pilgrim is walking through the night, along the dark valley towards the morning star ...
Carl Gustav Carus
Pilgrim in a Rocky Valley
Pèlerin dans une vallée rocheuse
Peregrino en un Valle Rocoso
1820
Alte Nationalgalerie, Berlin
A young woman dressed in black, facing away from the viewer.
She is here, on the terrace of a castellated mansion high above rolling wooded countryside,
and a nostalgic, melancholy atmosphere pervades this solitary dialogue with nature.
Carl Gustav Carus
Woman on the Balcony
Femme au balcon
Mujer en el balcón
1824
Galerie Neue Meister, Staatliche Kunstsammlungen Dresden, Dresden
"Rückenfigur" and nude art
Diego Velázquez
Dominique Ingres
Salvador Dalí
In the dialectic of showing and concealing, subjective personality is concealed and intimacy is made visible, as it were.
Venus‘ face is reflected in the mirror held up by her son, Cupid,
but her reflection is blurred – we can’t see who she really is.
Perhaps Velázquez wanted to make sure that Venus – the personification of female beauty –
was not an identifiable person …
we have to ‘complete’ her features with our imagination.
Diego Velázquez
Rokeby Venus, also known as The Toilet of Venus
Vénus à son miroir ou Vénus au miroir
La Venus del espejo
1644
National Gallery, London
this subtle seduction of the invisible …
a curtain as a metaphor for concealment
Jean-Auguste-Dominique Ingres
La Baigneuse dite Baigneuse de Valpinçon
The Valpinçon Bather
La bañista de Valpinçon
1808
Musée du Louvre, Paris
The back ... Salvador Dalí's double nude …
Gala sits aristocratically, nearly naked, save for a beautifully handled white cloth
Gala contemplates the same image of her back-to-the-viewer pose, only now it's formed
by architectural columns and other details surrounding a tiny figure of a man.
The undeniably classic look to the work - it almost looks like it could have been painted
during the Renaissance.
Salvador Dalí
My Wife, Nude, Contemplating her own flesh becoming Stairs, Three Vertebrae of a Column, Sky and Architecture
Ma femme, nue, regardant son propre corps devenir escalier, trois vertèbres d’une colonne, ciel et architecture
Mi esposa, desnuda, contemplando su propio cuerpo convirtiéndose en escalera, tres vértebras de una columna, cielo y arquitectura
1945
Private collection
"Rückenfigur" and the window as a pictorial motif
Caspar David Friedrich
Gustave Caillebotte
The representation of the contemplative back-figure to a vast natural space, has evolved towards the image of the figure in the window,
a symbol of the longing from the inner world to the outside, from the inside to the landscape.
Friedrich adapted his outdoor setting to the interior with Woman at the Window, a painting that probably influenced Gustave Caillebotte …
the wide springtime sky,
the delicate green of the poplar trees,
the River Elbe,
the masts of ships
a window
and
a woman, seen from behind
In this painting, the viewer is invited to look beyond the interior into the external world,
as the woman does, experiencing her sense of yearning.
Caspar David Friedrich
Woman at a Window
Femme à la Fenêtre
Mujer en la ventana
1822
Alte Nationalgalerie, Berlin
a sun-drenched street scene,
horse-drawn carriages,
a lone woman in fashionable attire is about to cross the street
a large open window
and
a young man, wearing informal clothes, with his back to the viewer,
...
“Rückenfigur” is reborn in Paris, in the French impressionists.
Although the composition has precedents in German Romanticism,
Caillebotte's painting differs from its German predecessors.
The man is not looking at nature, but contemplating an urban scene.
Gustave Caillebotte
Jeune Homme à la fenêtre
Young Man at His Window
Hombre joven en la ventana
1876
J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles
Five years later ...
Haussmann Paris, rich, grandiose, spectacular,
wide streets, wide tree-lined sidewalks, aligned facades,
long balconies and sculpted decorations,
a balcony,
a colourful awning,
an ornate iron balustrade,
a trough of flowers
and
a “Rückenfigur”, an elegant man with his back to the viewer
...
a sense of melancholy and loneliness, through the lonely figure on the balcony
Gustave Caillebotte
Man on a Balcony, Boulevard Haussmann
L'Homme au balcon, Boulevard Haussmann
Hombre en un balcón, Boulevard Haussmann
1880
Private collection
Rückenfigur ... back figure in paintings
Rückenfigur ... figure de dos dans la peinture
Rückenfigur ... figura de espaldas en la pintura
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Rückenfigur ... back figure in paintings.ppsx

  • 1.
  • 2. Wanderer above the Sea of Fog is perhaps the most iconic Rückenfigur in German Romantic painting …
  • 3.
  • 4. Rückenfigur, the back-figure is a pictorial theme with significant power. The figure is seen from behind, generally absorbed in contemplation of what is in front of him; the viewer identifies with him, entering more into the dimension of painting. The Rückenfigur, apparently anodyne but strategic and distinctive, reappeared in painting from the Trecento onwards ...
  • 5.
  • 7. Italian Renaissance Giotto di Bondone Raffaello Sanzio Giotto's Lamentation of Christ is an early example of non-subject figures turned from the viewer. Raphael developed the back figure into a more and more dynamic and dramatic figure by increasingly using gestures to express emotions.
  • 8. Figures with their backs in the most expressive and dramatically intense scene … saddened figures, an arid landscape with a rocky mountain, a dry tree underlines the desolation by the death of Christ Giotto di Bondonne Lamentation, The Mourning of Christ Lamentation sur le Christ mort Lamentación sobre Cristo muerto 1304-1306 Cappella Scrovegni (Arena Chapel), Padua
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  • 12. The work depicts Pope Leo IV halting a fire in 847 with a benediction from a balcony in front of the Old St. Peter's Basilica. … the back figures serve to draw the viewer in the drama of the historical event … In the foreground, people are desperately trying to put out the fire and a woman dressed in yellow, with her back to us, implores them to turn to the only effective source of help: the Pope. Raffaello Sanzio Fire in the Borgo L'Incendie du Bourg El incendio del Borgo 1514 Musei Vaticani, Apostolic Palace, Vatican City
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  • 16. Dutch painting of the 17th century Gerard Terborch Samuel van Hoogstraten Johannes Vermeer In Dutch painting in the second half of the 17th century, the back figure gained importance due to the need for a new representation of interiority and privacy in the picture. The back figure was a reflexive compromise between showing and concealing.
  • 17. a bedchamber ... a large dog with glaring eyes, an older but still fashionable woman a young man, his sword still hanging from his belt and his hat resting in his lap gazing intently at a girl in a magnificent satin gown. Is he making an indecent proposal? With her back turned, her reaction remains hidden from us. (... And what’s a dog doing in this bedroom scene?) Gerard ter Borch II The Gallant Conversation, known as Paternal Admonition Conversation galante, connu comme L’Admonestation paternelle Conversación galante, anteriormente La amonestación paterna 1654 Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam
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  • 21. broom put away, slippers hurriedly thrown, open book and in the background The Gallant Conversation by Ter Borch, a painting with gallant, if not moralising, overtones ... ... activities have been interrupted, something must be going on out of sight ... perhaps a love affair Samuel van Hoogstraten Intérieur hollandais, Les Pantoufles Perspective of a dutch interior viewed from a doorway, The slippers Un interior de casa en Holanda, Las zapatillas 1658 Musée du Louvre, Paris
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  • 24.
  • 25. The Painter … Who is this man sitting with his back to us as he works on painting at the easel in front of him? It is tempting to think that it is Vermeer himself, but there is nothing to suggest that it is. the back figure of the painter is the reflexive center of an allegory, with symbolic objects which also have to do with the process or concealment: the plaster mask on the table, the book in the hand of the model, the map on the wall or the curtain ... and a chair invites the viewer to take a seat. Johannes Vermeer The Art of Painting L'Art de la peinture El arte de la pintura 1666-1668 Kunsthistorisches Museum, Vienna
  • 26.
  • 27.
  • 28.
  • 29. German Romanticism of the 19th century Caspar David Friedrich Carl Gustav Carus Rückenfigur ... ‘back-figure’ into vogue in the landscape paintings of German Romantic artists of the early nineteenth century, in particular those of Caspar David Friedrich and his followers. The back figure became the central theme of landscape painting. Isolated in the landscape, maintaining a dialogue with nature.
  • 30. A back figure, anonymous and as mysterious as the view … The wanderer and we look an almost impenetrable sea of ​​fog in the midst of a rocky landscape … that instant in which man is overwhelmed by beauty, natural or spiritual. Caspar David Friedrich Wanderer above the Sea of Fog Le Voyageur contemplant une mer de nuages ou Le Voyageur au-dessus de la mer de nuages El caminante sobre el mar de nubes 1817 Hamburger Kunsthalle, Hamburg
  • 31.
  • 32.
  • 33. The sea, distant, enormous, unreachable, the sailboats, perhaps depictions of the souls of men departing for the Eternal, three anonymous characters with their backs to the viewer, two men and a woman, who could well be you and me ... Caspar David Friedrich Chalk Cliffs on Rügen Falaises de craie sur l'île de Rügen Acantilados blancos en Rügen 1818-1819 Kunst Museum Winterthur Reinhart am Stadtgarten, Winterthur
  • 34.
  • 35.
  • 36. the magnitude of the universe, the contrast of light and shade a night sky, a calm sea dark silhouettes of three figures with their backs turned, moved by this wonder of nature, two women and a man sit on the rock, gazing two sailing ships pursuing their ghostly course across the water Caspar David Friedrich Moonrise by the Sea Lever de lune sur la mer Luna saliendo sobre el mar 1822 Alte Nationalgalerie, Berlin
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  • 38.
  • 39.
  • 40. A man and a woman backs towards the viewer ... a mountain forest, a dramatically contorted, uprooted oak and the reassuring celestial light of the moon that permeates the atmosphere with a solemn stillness Caspar David Friedrich Man and Woman Contemplating the Moon Homme et femme contemplant la Lune Hombre y mujer contemplando la luna, 1824 Alte Nationalgalerie, Berlin
  • 41.
  • 42.
  • 43. The pilgrim is walking through the night, along the dark valley towards the morning star ... Carl Gustav Carus Pilgrim in a Rocky Valley Pèlerin dans une vallée rocheuse Peregrino en un Valle Rocoso 1820 Alte Nationalgalerie, Berlin
  • 44.
  • 45.
  • 46. A young woman dressed in black, facing away from the viewer. She is here, on the terrace of a castellated mansion high above rolling wooded countryside, and a nostalgic, melancholy atmosphere pervades this solitary dialogue with nature. Carl Gustav Carus Woman on the Balcony Femme au balcon Mujer en el balcón 1824 Galerie Neue Meister, Staatliche Kunstsammlungen Dresden, Dresden
  • 47.
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  • 49.
  • 50. "Rückenfigur" and nude art Diego Velázquez Dominique Ingres Salvador Dalí In the dialectic of showing and concealing, subjective personality is concealed and intimacy is made visible, as it were.
  • 51. Venus‘ face is reflected in the mirror held up by her son, Cupid, but her reflection is blurred – we can’t see who she really is. Perhaps Velázquez wanted to make sure that Venus – the personification of female beauty – was not an identifiable person … we have to ‘complete’ her features with our imagination. Diego Velázquez Rokeby Venus, also known as The Toilet of Venus Vénus à son miroir ou Vénus au miroir La Venus del espejo 1644 National Gallery, London
  • 52.
  • 53.
  • 54. this subtle seduction of the invisible … a curtain as a metaphor for concealment Jean-Auguste-Dominique Ingres La Baigneuse dite Baigneuse de Valpinçon The Valpinçon Bather La bañista de Valpinçon 1808 Musée du Louvre, Paris
  • 55.
  • 56. The back ... Salvador Dalí's double nude … Gala sits aristocratically, nearly naked, save for a beautifully handled white cloth Gala contemplates the same image of her back-to-the-viewer pose, only now it's formed by architectural columns and other details surrounding a tiny figure of a man. The undeniably classic look to the work - it almost looks like it could have been painted during the Renaissance. Salvador Dalí My Wife, Nude, Contemplating her own flesh becoming Stairs, Three Vertebrae of a Column, Sky and Architecture Ma femme, nue, regardant son propre corps devenir escalier, trois vertèbres d’une colonne, ciel et architecture Mi esposa, desnuda, contemplando su propio cuerpo convirtiéndose en escalera, tres vértebras de una columna, cielo y arquitectura 1945 Private collection
  • 57.
  • 58.
  • 59.
  • 60. "Rückenfigur" and the window as a pictorial motif Caspar David Friedrich Gustave Caillebotte The representation of the contemplative back-figure to a vast natural space, has evolved towards the image of the figure in the window, a symbol of the longing from the inner world to the outside, from the inside to the landscape. Friedrich adapted his outdoor setting to the interior with Woman at the Window, a painting that probably influenced Gustave Caillebotte …
  • 61. the wide springtime sky, the delicate green of the poplar trees, the River Elbe, the masts of ships a window and a woman, seen from behind In this painting, the viewer is invited to look beyond the interior into the external world, as the woman does, experiencing her sense of yearning. Caspar David Friedrich Woman at a Window Femme à la Fenêtre Mujer en la ventana 1822 Alte Nationalgalerie, Berlin
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  • 63.
  • 64.
  • 65. a sun-drenched street scene, horse-drawn carriages, a lone woman in fashionable attire is about to cross the street a large open window and a young man, wearing informal clothes, with his back to the viewer, ... “Rückenfigur” is reborn in Paris, in the French impressionists. Although the composition has precedents in German Romanticism, Caillebotte's painting differs from its German predecessors. The man is not looking at nature, but contemplating an urban scene. Gustave Caillebotte Jeune Homme à la fenêtre Young Man at His Window Hombre joven en la ventana 1876 J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles
  • 66.
  • 67.
  • 68. Five years later ... Haussmann Paris, rich, grandiose, spectacular, wide streets, wide tree-lined sidewalks, aligned facades, long balconies and sculpted decorations, a balcony, a colourful awning, an ornate iron balustrade, a trough of flowers and a “Rückenfigur”, an elegant man with his back to the viewer ... a sense of melancholy and loneliness, through the lonely figure on the balcony Gustave Caillebotte Man on a Balcony, Boulevard Haussmann L'Homme au balcon, Boulevard Haussmann Hombre en un balcón, Boulevard Haussmann 1880 Private collection
  • 69.
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  • 71. Rückenfigur ... back figure in paintings Rückenfigur ... figure de dos dans la peinture Rückenfigur ... figura de espaldas en la pintura images and text credit www. Music The Piano Guys A Thousand Years created olga_oes thanks for watching o.esqsegues@gmail.com