The 'cult of reason' meant that superstition was replaced by science in Germany (and the rest of Europe, too...but they just weren't as emotional). Objectivity was key in the world that was looking outwards in every aspect of life to gather an understanding of the world; No one was looking in towards themselves. German Romanticism was far creepier than English.
Caspar David Friedrich
Friedrich was so consumed by the whole movement that he essentially became insane and died in poverty.
- Monk By the Sea 1809
'the artist should paint not only what he sees before him, but also what he sees within him'
- Abbey in the Oakwood 1809-10
- Two Men Contemplating the Moon, 1819
- Woman in the Morning Sun 1818-20
- The Wanderer Above the Sea of Fog 1818
This encompasses the technique "Capriccio" where an artist produces a metaphor of a landscape, or simply a made up one. It is the wanderer searching for the metaphysical soul.
- Old Heroes' Graves 1812
These are graves of famous Germans with Napoleonic soldiers lost in the landscape. Its an allusion to the Napoleonic army always being inferior to Germany - so much so they are 'lost' among their war generals.
Oddly though, the graves are classical, as is the obelisk, something that is rare in Germany (and not a reference to national pride).