Caspar David Friedrich


While Friedrich’s paintings often feature a moon partially veiled behind clouds, in this work he made the full moon the focal point of the drawing. To emphasize the bright moonlight, Friedrich cut a circle out of the watercolor and then pasted unpainted paper over the hole. With the drawing lit from behind by candlelight, the moon would seem to glow, lighting the pond and the white birch tree in contrast to the dark ground.

Caspar David Friedrich
German; 1774–1840
Moonlit Landscape, before 1808
Watercolor and opaque watercolor; the moon, cut-and-pasted insert