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Date: 1935
Material: Watercolour
Dimensions: 44 x 55 cm

1935 Fritz Griebel spent Easter in pot hole on the Baltic Sea. It is quite conceivable that he wanted to hold on during an evening walk the picturesque setting sun on the beach. Certainly the color game has him excited in the sky to do so.

The medium sized image is divided into three zones: beach, sea and sky. The beach zone the artist painted in earthy colors that go into the turquoise sea. There is only a small swell. Griebel stressed the horizon line by leaving darker the blue tones of the water from the beach.

The actual "action" takes place in the area of ​​the sky. There, Fritz Griebel revealed by his standards in a real rush of color. Yellow, Red, Orange blow up the sky-blue firmament, as if the sky on fire. Dark blue mixed with red and creates violettefarbene nuances. The sunset reflected in the water and makes a wonderful splash of color.

The sun symbolism goes back to the earliest history of mankind. For the development in Christianity is to emphasize that especially the Greeks and Romans knew the sun cult. So Plato called (428/427 v. Chr.-348/347 BC) the sun the son of God. The strahlenbekränzte Sun God on the emperor coins of the 3rd and 4 Century can be regarded as a direct model for the Christ-Helios of early Christian art. But Christ has shown himself as a rare sun.

Caspar David Friedrich: Frau vor untergehender Sonne, um 1818, Öl auf Leinwand, 22 x 30,5 cm, Museum Folkwang, Essen, Inv.-Nr. G 45

The early Romantic painter Caspar David Friedrich (1774-1840) is known for its metaphysical and transcendent landscapes. In the Woman before the setting sun looks back a female figure with arms raised easily in one hand, the entire image fills more than half sunset. The visible at her feet road turns abruptly to the right, so that the impression of a threshold is created that applies to cross it. The large boulders emphasize the figure whose body between the earthly and the celestial Sphere stands still.

The compositionally highly thought-image is a symbol of the faith in God of his own mortality conscious people. So symbolizes the setting sun the death, bend in the road, the end of life and the boulders and mountains symbolize the stop giving Christian faith, the hope of salvation.

Fritz Griebel drops from his watercolor largely on composition and spatial effect. He was due to illustrate a natural spectacle on an abstract level. So he was probably far too religious imagery. With this small work in expressive color scheme, he created an exceptional work in his oeuvre.

Antje Buchwald 2013



H. Lang: Sonne. In: LCI. Lexikon der christlichen Ikonographie, Bd. 4, S. 175–178.