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Blakelock, Moonlight

Moonlightc. 1880sOil on canvas22 × 27N-127.1960Nebraska Art Association, Nelle Cochrane Woods MemorialMoonlight by Ralph Albert Blakelock Ralph Albert BlakelockRalph Blakelock began his career in the 1860s, when American landscape painting had reached its height of marketability. Blakelock was notoriously experimental in his painterly methods, adopting a time-consuming, quasi-sculptural process to produce his buffed and polished surfaces. Moonlight’s seductive, highly lacquered appearance masks this haphazard construction and excessive labor. In the painting’s feathery yellow and blue-green sky, the artist’s handling of paint is at once present and absent. While expunging spatial illusionism from his scenes, Blakelock gave them an actual physical depth in an apparent critique of painting’s deceptive surfaces. American 18471919Elizabethtown, NYNew York, NY