Moonlight has fascinated artists for centuries. Writers have composed about its romance, artists have painted its mystery, musicians and composers have been moved to produce beautiful passages that evoke those ideas. But while moonlight has been depicted by many painters, it was often done from memory — out of necessity, because it’s hard to see and paint in the dark.
Despite the difficulties involved, artists who choose to paint by moonlight are in good company. Van Gogh, Caspar David Friedrich, Frank Tenney Johnson, Elihu Vedder, Frederic Remington, and Lockwood de Forest are just a few who painted nocturnes. Some painted by candlelight, some tried working in near darkness after memorizing the colors on their palettes, some painted from memory or imagination, while other artists painted an imagined nocturne on location — in the middle of the day. Continue reading.