TIMELINE OF WORLD HISTORY
 

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History of the World in Objects and Art
Timeline
 

20 000BC      
1200BC 800 1455 1820
700BC 1070 1500 1840
350BC 1205 1530 1868
200BC 1260 1600 1890
100BC 1290 1685 1910
30 1350 1755 1920
600 1400 1800 1950
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
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History of the World in Objects and Art Timeline
 
 
 
1910

The Mexican Revolution
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
1910

The Mexican Revolution
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
1912
 
 
On the hubris of humankind

The news hit the world like a blow: "Titanic sinks four hours after collision with iceberg; 1,250 presumed dead." Thus read the New York Times headline of 16 April 1912. Only twenty-four hours before, an unprecedented tragedy had been enacted 400 nautical miles off Newfoundland in the Atlantic. More than hall the ship's passengers had died.

Not only had a stunningly elegant ship gone down; with her sank the myth of modern times. Industrial man had believed it could dupe nature with technology: the glittering new Titanic, on her maiden voyage from Southampton to New York, was regarded as a marvel of engineering and as "unsinkable". Yet she fell victim to the vagaries of nature like so many expeditionary vessels that had sailed into perilous waters a century before.

In Caspar David Friedrich's The Polar Sea, the capsized ship caught in the ice may be the "Griper", which took part in expeditions to the North Pole that made the headlines in 181920 and 1824. British Polar explorer Sir William Edward Parry had become embroiled in a very dangerous situation whilst seeking the Northwest Passage. Caspar David Friedrich may well have been inspired by newspaper reports about Parry as well as by heavy ice floes on the Elbe in the winter of 182021.

The painting has occasionally been interpreted as having a religious meaning: the intransience of human life before divine eternity. There are also political interpretations: resignation in the face of the fruitless German wars of independence. And yet The Polar Sea remains in the first instance a symbol of the terrors of the icy wastes of the Polar regions - and of human presumption, which no longer stands in awe of nature.


Caspar David Friedrich
(1774-1840)
The Polar Sea
1824
 
 
 
 
1914

The First World War
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
1914

The First World War
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
1914

The First World War
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
1914

The First World War
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
1917

The October Revolution
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
1917

The October Revolution
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
1917

The October Revolution
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
1918

The 1918 Influenza Pandemic
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
1919

The Weimar Republic
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

 
 
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