Received first painting lessons, Karus comes to the University of Leipzig (1804-1810), where he studied natural Sciences, philosophy and medicine; graduated from the University in the class of medicine in 1811. Prior to 1814, working as an assistant in the maternity station Trier society in Leipzig, and then received the title of Professor at the Department of obstetrics in Dresden.
In 1815, in Dresden, Carus met Caspar David Friedrich.
In the years 1815-1824 writes his "Nine letters on landscape painting", one of the main theoretical works that laid the foundations of the German romantic school of painting. Carus was also a friend of Goethe and wrote a book-the biography of the poet, published in 1863.
Carl Gustav Carus (03.01.1789-1869) - one of the largest representatives of the German romantic landscape. His paintings are usually very small, clearly reveal to us that original and deep view of the world that was you. work in the early nineteenth century romantic philosophy.
Karus himself "philosophizing" approach to art was inherent in greater measure than to any of the landscape artists of the era. Carus was not an artist by education and came to painting from his, already established, scientific and philosophical ideas. Dresden's famous natural scientist, philosopher and physician, he, like many prominent people of the time had the spiritual universalism that allowed to appeal to different types of activities - science, art, literature - and each have their say.
A great example of this universalism at that time was Goethe, combining poet, artist and scientist. But Goethe himself in one of his letters wrote to Carus: "Right, you coodinate in its activities as many of the personality traits, abilities, skills, deep living relationship which is
surprise". Their friendship and scientific communication that began in a time when Carus was a young Professor and obstetrician in Dresden, continued to the death of Goethe. As you know, merging, enriching interpenetration of art and science was no less characteristic of the romantic era, the appeal of art to the fairy tale, myth, fantasy. Romantic natural philosophy turned the idea about the universe, given all the new spiritualized justification - and in the eyes of the romantics the specific science of nature is fulfilled, a new, mysterious and even poetic sense. The poet NOVALIS held the structure of rocks, the painter Runge was engaged in physical colour theory, Carus in connection with their scenic task began the scientific study of atmospheric phenomena, the laws of the formation and structure of clouds...
Romantic worldview put face-to-face nature and man, seeing and in fact, in another manifestation of the unified and infinite spiritual principle. In the view of the romantic spirit, living unconsciously-a creative life in nature, generating all the variety of its forms, manifests itself in man as the consciousness, the diversity of feelings, thoughts, and activities. One feels in nature akin to himself, the creature learns and expresses it - in science and in art; the spiritual essence of man seeks to merge with the spiritual essence of the world. So no wonder the naturalist and artist in that era became so close to each other, and the most fruitful direction of romantic art in Germany was the landscape.
Karus, in the spirit of romantic philosophy, as determined by the ratio of art to science: science knows, art is subservient to the spirit of the whole, for in art man himself is likened to a partly unconsciously creative nature. The truth in combination. Scientific data find the ultimate meaning of holistic artistic expression, art, if it serve its intended purpose, must be based on deep scientific knowledge. It is a combination of romantic and determined personality of Karus.
As already mentioned, Carus did not study painting, he was self-taught. His first work directly related to his scientific activities, it is anatomical and Botanical studies. And only gradually appears of interest to the landscape. But really its own path in the art Karus found when he moved from Leipzig, where he graduated from the University in Dresden and became acquainted with Caspar David Friedrich (1817). Friedrich first opened the specific language of a romantic landscape. Probably his pictures and cannot be called landscapes in the traditional sense in which this genre was formed and existed in European art. This is not the image of the terrain - real or ideal - and, in the language of romanticism, a philosophical, spiritual contemplation in the forms of visible nature. Karus found for this new kind of art designation - he proposed not to call it a landscape, a "depiction of the life of the earth." He so deeply embraced the principles of the art of Frederick that on some pictures there is still doubt - they belong to a "teacher" or "pupil".
Passionate about Friedrich, in his footsteps, Karus in 1819, goes on a journey to the island of rügen, where, as Friedrich writes seascapes. Sea and sky in these paintings serve to the artist .as if in order to give an idea of the infinity of nature. In the film "Surf on Rugen" shows only a narrow strip of rocky shores and large, a monotonically rising shafts of the waves to the horizon. The landscape is striking in its majestic the absence of human beings; the artist wanted to convey the nature of the great, mighty and deaf, so what it is in itself, not what it usually perceives and adapts to their needs nearelectrode. In the painting "moonlit night on rügen" the artist and removes the last prop to shore; we see the sea as it generally can not see the person in the middle of the desert water, from above, like flying close to the gulls; and we cannot tear his eyes from the spread below us lit by the moon a wavy ripple. The artist peers at the infinite natural element with a curious intensity and expectation as looked if in the face of a man.
What with the spirit of nature, like man, may have its expression consonant with human feelings, - the belief, expressed by Carus in his theoretical-philosophical work "Nine letters on landscape painting". Such expressions of sorrow, peace, updates, etc. - attach picture of the nature, time of day, time of year. The susceptibility of the romantic artist, a convinced in the internal relationship of nature and man, and sees a mix of natural motifs is not a coincidence, and the characters spiritual condition. Imbued with this mentality, we understand, for example, the idea of the artist in the film "the Cemetery of the monastery Oybin" (1828): Church ruins, tombs under the snow is the collapse, stupor, oblivion; standing in the center of the composition of the mighty green fir - premonition of a coming revival.
In the works of Carus, has a number of paintings directly on the theme of spiritual kinship and the secret of the silent dialogue between man and nature. In these paintings man is not naturally nature, as the staffage in a classical landscape. He is always outside it, looking at it from the window from opening from the terraces, but United with the landscape differently- empathy, community spiritual condition. This is the "Lady on the terrace" (1824), and ran the look in the bluish dawn far. This is one of the most famous paintings Carus, "the Move to Barca over the Elbe river" (1827). Dark space covered barges, eyes sitting here, a young elegant girl we are looking at a river shining in the distance on the opposite shore, dissolving in the sunlight landscape with the silhouette of Dresden and imbued with its state of joyful expectation, a rush from darkness to light, from everyday life to the miracle. Finally, one of the most peculiar paintings Carus - "the brühl terrace in Dresden" (1830). Twilight. A damp fog. From the mist, like a miraculous vision, there is a pointed silhouette of the Dresden Hofkirche. In the foreground at the parapet of the terrace - the figures of vagabonds or Wanderers: sitting as if in a daze, hunched old man, to the knees which clung to the child, at their feet lies a dog. Dreams man, and the town immersed in fog as in a dream. In this hour they seem to merge with each other in no one trailing silent conversation, full of secret meaning.
Special theme woven into the painting Carus, the motive of art creativity. The painting "Balcony in Naples" (1829-1830) something like "Crossing the Elbe": the room, through the open balcony door we see the sun-drenched city on the other side of the Bay. It seems to be lacking only one thing - looking all the way out the man; and the truth is, there is no man but has his song - put a violin. Also a person is missing and another painting Carus, "the artist in the moonlight" (1826). Bright squares of Windows with transparent curtain crossed with a dark silhouette of the easel and Ashtabula. And there are no more contrasts, all immersed in the enveloping darkness, the quiet. Felt a vague, a vague but intensely spiritual state in which images are born, and while sleeping the mind and the will of the artist. Few people could convey with such force the very mysterious atmosphere of creativity than to the scientist-naturalist, Professor and philosopher who has touched and transformed in the artist's spiritual impulse of romanticism.