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Morning (Der Morgen)

Philipp Otto Runge

European Art

These etchings are part of a rare first edition of Philipp Otto Runge’s Times of Day, a set of four large prints (Morning, Day, Evening, and Night) filled with elaborate floral decorations and angelic children meant to symbolize the eternal cycle of nature. For Runge, human life was part of this cycle, and the natural world was an expression of the divine.

Runge intended to use these designs for a monumental series of painted murals, but only one painting was ever completed. Landmarks of German Romanticism, a movement that emphasized emotion and the mysticism of nature, the etchings were appreciated by the movement’s leading figures, including the philosopher Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, who displayed a set of Times of Day in his music room and described the works as “enough to drive one mad, beautiful and crazy at the same time.”
MEDIUM Etching on wove paper
  • Place Made: Germany
  • DATES 1803–1805
    DIMENSIONS Sheet: 28 1/4 x 19 in. (71.8 x 48.3 cm) Mat: 39 3/4 x 30 in. (101 x 76.2 cm)  (show scale)
    MARKINGS Stamp lower left verso
    INSCRIPTIONS Verso lower center in graphite: "38.623"; bottom right in graphite: "M42/4"
    COLLECTIONS European Art
    CREDIT LINE Museum Collection Fund
    MUSEUM LOCATION This item is not on view
    CAPTION Philipp Otto Runge (German, 1777–1810). Morning (Der Morgen), 1803–1805. Etching on wove paper, Sheet: 28 1/4 x 19 in. (71.8 x 48.3 cm). Brooklyn Museum, Museum Collection Fund, 38.623 (Photo: Brooklyn Museum, 38.623_PS1.jpg)
    IMAGE overall, 38.623_PS1.jpg. Brooklyn Museum photograph, 2006
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    RIGHTS STATEMENT No known copyright restrictions
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    Philipp Otto Runge (German, 1777–1810). <em>Morning (Der Morgen)</em>, 1803–1805. Etching on wove paper, Sheet: 28 1/4 x 19 in. (71.8 x 48.3 cm). Brooklyn Museum, Museum Collection Fund, 38.623 (Photo: Brooklyn Museum, 38.623_PS1.jpg)