Two women are walking with their children towards a grove of beech trees. The morning light falls at an angle through lush foliage, behind which the sun has already risen. Children play happily on the grass and two riders appear at the right-hand edge of the grove, dressed, as are the walkers, in Renaissance costume. The viewer’s gaze is drawn irresistibly into the distance past ancient, overgrown fragments of stonework. The horizon broadens out into the sea where a port on the left has domes in the style of the Italian Renaissance. As so often in Schinkel’s work, this landscape is as much historical as topographical. In his remembrance of the great epochs of the past, Schinkel evokes his vision of present social renewal. Painted in 1813 during the Napoleonic wars, the picture conveys a sense of renewed patriotism. Echoing Runge’s Times of Day, Schinkel painted a companion piece entitled Evening which was, however, destroyed in 1945. In that work, the struggle against Napoleon was symbolized by two eagles hovering during a storm above a rock surrounded by oak trees. Both works were commissioned by General von Gneisenau and reflect his wish that together they should herald the dawn of a new age following a night of stormy darkness.


  • Title: Morning
  • Creator: Karl Friedrich Schinkel
  • Date Created: 1813
  • Physical Dimensions: w102.0 x h76.0 cm
  • Type: Painting
  • Technique and material: Oil on canvas
  • Inv.-No.: A I 1135
  • ISIL-No.: DE-MUS-815114
  • External link: Alte Nationalgalerie, Staatliche Museen zu Berlin
  • Copyrights: Text: © Prestel Verlag / Alte Nationalgalerie, Staatliche Museen zu Berlin, Photo: © b p k - Photo Agency / Nationalgalerie, Staatliche Museen zu Berlin / Jörg P. Anders
  • Collection: Nationalgalerie, Staatliche Museen zu Berlin
  • Artist biography: Karl Friedrich Schinkel was the foremost Prussian architect, city planner and a painter. From 1772 to 1800 he studied architecture under Friedrich Gilly and his father in Berlin. After a journey to Italy, he began work as an independent painter in 1805. In 1816 he created the scenery for Mozart’s opera The Magic Flute, including the stage for the Queen of the Night scene, adorned with stars, which has since become iconic. Despite such successes, he decided to devote himself to architecture. He became famous as one of the most prominent German architects and created Neoclassical as well as Neo-Gothic buildings, mainly in Berlin and surrounding towns. Well known landmarks of his making include the Berlin Altes Museum on Museum Island, the Neue Wache (1816–18) and the Schauspielhaus (1819–21) at Gendarmenmarkt. In 1826 he also produced the plans for Charlottenhof Palace and St. Nikolaikirche, both in Potsdam. His style stands out for its pronounced Greek influence, while in his later years he applied Neo-Gothic elements such as can be seen in the brickwork of Friedrichswerder Church (1824–31).
  • Artist Place of Death: Berlin, Germany
  • Artist Place of Birth: Neuruppin, Germany
  • Artist Dates: 1781-03-13/1841-10-09

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