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Year: 1933
Material: red chalk on paper
Dimensions: 64 x 48 cm


The focus of the light-dark contrast held drawing we see a pair of figures from behind as walking. Both are wearing winter clothing. Bent while the man walks with a cane, the woman walks upright and slightly in front of her husband Her right arm is bent, a handbag is wrapped around her wrist. You go along a dirt road, which is lined with bushes right and left framed by a simple fence. To the left of the pair is the market town Heroldsberg, grew up in the Fritz Griebel. The steeple rises above the houses beyond.

The older couple are the parents of the artist. His father, Georg Peter Griebel (1861-1937) was from 1899 to 1926 and pastor in Heroldsberg of the family of his mother Louise Griebel, born Rihm (1865-1936), Fritz Griebel had inherited probably the artistic talent, the image in this shows particularly in the perspective. The path that leads the couple goes to a vanishing point and is concealed from him. He directs our attention on the one hand and on the other it suggests movement and dynamism.

The parents of the artist and the steeple are vertical pixels in the horizontal scale and composition can be interpreted for the attachment to the Christian faith of the couple. The landscape is consistent with our visual impression. Griebel gives us the impression that we would go behind the couple and look at the landscape. It gives the image a bit distant and timeless.

The presentation of the background figure is recorded as early as in ancient Roman times and the time of Giotto (1266-1337) already fully developed. Its basic and most important feature is also on a two-dimensional image surface having a three-dimensional space, that is present a low space. The viewer should identify with a character back into the picture sighted and thus empathize with the existence of space. In the Romantic period, the background figure acts as our substitute. We should put ourselves in them. Always, however, it is also the artist's soul mirror. In the 20th Century takes the design of the back shows a reduced space.

Caspar David Friedrich: Der Wanderer über dem Nebelmeer, 1818, Öl/Lwd., 98 x 74 cm, Hamburger Kunsthalle.

The background figure is. Only with Caspar David Friedrich (1774-1840) as a central theme in landscape painting She has a significant effect on the content and structure of the entire image file, even if they appear in different size and importance - in the center of the image as foreground or sideways into the picture inside gerückte figure. Friedrich is essential to the nature as a screen for feelings and desires of the viewer. In their view of nature is expressed and inner world view of romance.

At the Romantics is the background figure is a passive observer of his alienated nature, the back Griebel figures are stated in the motion. Sets the background figure in Frederick are not individuals, Griebel expressly described the figures as his parents in the picture below right note. Not the natural phenomenon is subject of the painting, but the old parents who are portrayed physically somewhat frail: The father must walk with a stick, the mother holds her hand back. Together, they go their way, they have begun to end.


Antje Buchwald 2012


Margarete Koch: Die Rückenfigur im Bild. Von der Antike bis Giotto. Recklinghausen 1964.
Akane Sugiyama: »Wanderer unter dem Regen« – Die Rückenfigur Caspar David Friedrichs. Berlin 2007.