Kersting, eleven years younger than Friedrich, accompanied the latter on his 1810 journey through the Riesengebirge [Giant Mountains]. Their beautiful landscapes and impressive rock formations led many of the Dresden Romantics to journey there. Although Friedrich was only there once, it had a lasting effect upon his work: impressions recorded in sketches were used again and again in later oil paintings and watercolours.
In Friedrich’s watercolour Felslöcke am Kochelfall (Dresden, Kupferstich-Kabinett), dated 17 July 1810, i.e. one day before this drawing of himself by Kersting, Friedrich had drawn his seated companion. Kersting’s art was strongly influenced by Friedrich, and he also created multiple paintings of the elder artist at work in his Dresden studio (1811, Hamburger Kunsthalle; 1819, Nationalgalerie Berlin).