Returning Wanderer
2009, oil on canvas, 75 x 98cm






In researching romantic landscape painting, a simple Google image search for 'Caspar David Friedrich' yielded results for his most famous paintings, Wanderer Above the Sea of Mist (1818) being top of the list:

Amidst the numerous thumbnail reproductions of this painting was a curious abstracted image. The corrupted file still contained enough information to confirm its origins. The clouds at the top and the outline of the rock the figure stands on were still visible:

I resolved to paint this image the same size as Friedrich's original. It's painted in one continuous, snaking line over a grey background, forming an endless loop, whilst invisibly tracing the outline of the figure on its travels. The title Returning Wanderer refers to this technical conceit and the idea that the picture has returned after wandering the digital wilderness, and perhaps through the prism of art history in the intervening years since its manufacture, a forlorn harbinger of the digital sublime.