Moonlight Night

7:00 AM

Theo van Rysselberghe, Moonlight Night in Boulogne,  1919
By KARL SHEERAN

The two figures on the left side of the piece hide in the shadow of the sail, obscured from the moonlight. The moon reflects the light of the sun, the force that gives life to every living thing on Earth. Ryssellberghe painted the sky and the ocean as the only natural objects in the piece, compared to the synthetic boats and town lights. This demonstrates how they will endure the longest. Civilizations have come and gone but Earth and raw nature remains. It has seen millions of years shoot by, the majority of those years commanded by the dinosaurs.  Humans have only seen a small portion of that time.  Will a pestilence or natural disaster wipe us out as the dinosaurs before us?

The lights from the town shine but not nearly as bright as the light from the moon. It is almost as if the man-made lights wish to imitate the intensity of the moon but lack the ability to do so. Mankind yearns to produce energy to rival that of the sun.

Rysellberghe used a plethora of shades of paint: reds, blues, and yellows. He employs the techniques Georges Seurat invented, those of pointillism. While painting individual dots of red, blue, and yellow, the combined paints create an interesting dark hue of blue and green.

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