Oil on canvas
Framed: 94 x 172.4 x 5.1 cm (37 x 67 7/8 x 2 in.); Unframed: 90.1 x 168.6 cm (35 1/2 x 66 3/8 in.)
Mr. and Mrs. William H. Marlatt Fund 2005.4
Jansson, known as the "Blue Painter," was called "Paraffin Jansson" by other artists because the light in his paintings reminded them of the light from the paraffin (kerosene) lamps widely used in houses at the time.
The swirling brushstrokes and telescopic perspective in this view of a field near Stockholm, Sweden, converge on the dark mass of trees and dying sunset in the center. Feelings of melancholy and loneliness are relieved only by the appearance of the first evening star. Although little known in the United States, Eugène Janssen was one of the most important artists of Scandinavian modernism. He became aware of the works of the Norwegian Symbolist Edvard Munch as early as 1884 and shared Munch’s ambition of exploring psychological states of mind rather than adhering to external appearances.
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