Painting and the Unconscious: Carl Gustav Carus 1

Teil 1 einer sehr schön gemachten Reihe über die Arbeit von Carl Gustav Carus – geteilt von dem wunderbaren Blog „The Eclectic Light Company“

The Eclectic Light Company

I hadn’t realised that Caspar David Friedrich had at least one pupil, and a rather unusual one at that: Carl Gustav Carus (1789–1869), who when he was learning to paint was already a professor of obstetrics in Dresden, Germany. This and the next article look at the remarkable polymath Carus and his paintings.

Carus was a Renaissance man: an eminent obstetrician and gynaecologist who ran obstetric services in the city of Dresden, a botanist and zoologist who influenced Darwin, a physiologist and pioneer psychologist who helped develop the concept of the unconscious, a friend and influence of Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, and, as we shall see, a highly accomplished painter of Romantic ‚Gothic‘ landscapes.

Carus first trained as a medical practitioner, but during those years also seems to have taken drawing classes. When he was appointed professor of obstetrics in Dresden in 1814, he started to concentrate on painting in…

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