Lunar light


Evening Scene with Full Moon and Persons (1801) by Abraham Pether.

More moons. The thing you immediately notice when looking at paintings of the moon is how many of them show moonlight reflected on water, while the moon itself tends to change its size. There are many more examples here.


Moonrise Over the Sea (c. 1821) by Caspar David Friedrich.


View of Dresden by Moonlight (1839) by Johan Christian Dahl.


Marine View – Moonlight (c. 1845) by Cornelius Krieghoff.


Helgoland in Moonlight (1851) by Christian Ernst Bernhard Morgenstern.


Crimean Coast by Moonlight (1853) by Ivan Aivazovsky.


Sailing Vessels in a Moonlit Harbour (no date) by Abraham Hulk Senior.


Lowtide by Moonlight (no date) by Arthur Gilbert.

Previously on { feuilleton }
Lunar observations
Lunation: Art on the Moon
Somnium by Steve Moore
Blood on the Moon
Filippo Morghen’s Voyage to the Moon

8 thoughts on “Lunar light”

  1. herr doktor bimler: Which can be seen here:

    Did you happen to see the Elsheimer show at the Edinburgh National Gallery in 2006? The Alte Pinakothek version was there. According to the catalog (yes, I am a packrat), “This is the first moonlit nocturnal scene in the history of European painting, and the first representation of the Milky Way.”

  2. No, the last time I was in Edinburgh was in 1984. Surprising the painting was the first to show a moonlit scene given the prevalence of the moon in myth and legend. But then landscape painting as a form took a while to develop as well.

  3. Check out Marius Pictor. He specialized in moonlight. He also owned an incredible house in Venice known locally as “tre oci” (three eyes).

  4. Caspar: I was going to include that one but it looked too dark at small size. Still looks dark at large size as well. Many of these paintings need to be seen in a gallery.

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