Here, the background is literally to the fore. Past the ridge of hills and the valley, our gaze comes to rest on a range of mountains. It was the Rosenberg in Bohemian Switzerland that provided the motif for this painting – one of Friedrich’s last. Heinrich von Kleist enthused about the Alpine region in 1801: “Formed of the most beautiful lines, as if angels had played in the sand”. In his paintings, Friedrich combined the objectively seen with the subjectively felt. Nature was the pool of motifs he drew from to compose his romantic landscapes.