This painting is assessed in terms of these elements:
1. Visual composition (spatial configuration of images on the canvas)
2. Appearance of motion/movement
3. Sense of unity/balance
4. Color and light/dark contrast
As you explicate a piece from this particular genre, I offer you some basic tips. Please allow some of my own ideas and research to help as you then create your own paper. Once you write your paper, please send as a new posting for our editing and feedback. We are here to serve you! Thanks again! Good luck!
First of all, I chose one of the least "talked about" of his works for various reasons. I highly recommend that when responding to art and literature, it is often better to go with an obscure piece or artist since it narrows the research scope and resources and further allows you to be unique in approaching a topic. As a teacher myself, I know that reading 100 papers about the Mona Lisa becomes quite monotonous!
As for the sample idea for you to model for this inquiry, the particular image is located at http://www.ibiblio.org/wm/paint/auth/friedrich/friedrich.wanderer-sea-fog.jpg
It is entitled, "Wanderer above the Sea of Fog" from 1818 by Caspar David Friedrich, as you requested.
First of all, you might look at this piece in terms of its unique visual composition, especially within the Romantic genre study. If you look at it spatially, you might notice how the character of the man or "wonderer" seems to be in perfect alignment to emphasize his elevation not just literally but also symbolically with nature. I believe that the image of the man standing on the rocks is perfectly centered, while the fog and mountains blend with the clouds in order to form a sense of balance on the canvas. In fact, I think that this composition is highly characteristic of his overall work since scholars attest that "He was the first artist to create awe before ...
Help with explicating the piece is given.