The Sea of Ice by Casper David Friedrich

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The Sea of Ice by Caspar David Friedrich

Painting NameThe Sea of Ice
Painter NameCasper David Friedrich
Completion Date1824
Size96.7 cm × 126.9 cm (38 in × 49.9 in)
Current LocationKunsthalle Hamburg Hamburg

Completed in 1824, The Sea of Ice or sometimes referred as The Wreck of Hope is a piece by the German painter Casper David Friedrich. It represents the accident of a ship which is drowning under the ice while the broken ice sheet by the accident has arisen upwards significantly. The top and bottom of the painting also resembles the popular color use of blue vs. orange, abundantly apparent in modern day art, films, posters and paintings.


The subject isn’t a random depiction of ice and ship-accident. The painting was made during the period when the expeditions to the north and south poles were in talks. Though, the attempts to a successful expedition are much older than the 19th century.

The original title for the painting at the time of its presentation in an art gallery was An Idealized Scene of an Arctic Sea, with a Wrecked Ship on the Heaped Masses of Ice. But in artist’s estate it is called Ice Picture. The Disaster-stricken North Pole Expedition. It explains that the ship was on the expedition for the North Pole.

Comparatively new art movement at the time, Romanticism is the prominent style the landscape work. Also, the artist is mainly known as being a Romantic painter.

This pure art-piece made with oil on canvas currently resides in Kunsthalle Hamburg, Hamburg.


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