"The pilgrim will recall to us the idea of distance, the very immeasurability of the earth’s surface; but it will always be the landscape that determines the living being” — Carus’s own words about landscape painting in a letter of 1820. The pilgrim is walking through the night, along the dark valley towards the morning star. Carus had drawn on themes such as this since becoming friends with Caspar David Friedrich. But, besides being influenced by Friedrich’s thinking, Carus’s works are clearly in tune with the wider Romantic Zeitgeist. Quite similar images occur, for example, in Ludwig Tieck’s novel Franz Stern-balds Wanderungen (1798).


  • Title: Pilgrim in a Rocky Valley
  • Creator: Carl Gustav Carus
  • Date Created: after 1828/1830
  • Physical Dimensions: w22.0 x h28.0 cm
  • Type: Painting
  • Technique and material: Oil on canvas
  • Inv.-No.: A II 416
  • 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: Philipp Otto Runge was a Romantic German painter and draughtsman. In 1799 he started his apprenticeship in painting with Heinrich Joachim Hertrich in Hamburg and then under Jens Juel at the Copenhagen Academy. Two years later he left Denmark and moved to Dresden where met artists like Caspar David Friedrich and Ludwig Tieck. He became also a friend of Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, who he met in Weimar in 1803. Both shared a deep interest in art and colour theory. Runge was convinced that, in essence, only three colours exist and it was his ambition to create a complete world of colours by mixing them together in various combinations. He was the founder of the first solid colour system. Runge is considered one of the best German portraitists of his time and his compositions are characterized by rigidity as well as an intensity that tends towards naivety. One of his most famous artworks is 'The Hülsenbeck Children' (1805–06).
  • Artist Place of Death: Dresden, Germany
  • Artist Place of Birth: Leipzig, Germany
  • Artist Dates: 1789-01-03/1869-07-18

Get the app

Explore museums and play with Art Transfer, Pocket Galleries, Art Selfie, and more

Flash this QR Code to get the app
Google apps