Collection 1880s–1940s

Tarsila do Amaral. The Moon. 1928 535

Oil on canvas, 43 5/16 × 43 5/16" (110 × 110 cm). Gift of Joan H. Tisch (by exchange)

Curator, Ann Temkin: Tarsila do Amaral is a very good example of the way that we are still learning and rediscovering the history of Modern art.

The painting takes its name from the moon, which is very prominent at the upper center of the painting. The surrounding landscape is clearly abstracted but there is definitely a sense of green earth and blue sky and probably a river with that blue semi-circle. And a maybe mountain range behind the moon.

But I think most intriguing perhaps is this figure, which looks like a cactus. So there's that sense of ourselves in the painting as we identify with that figure standing there before the moon. And so there's a real sense of mystery, and there's this real sense of wonder.

One of the things that I think is very special about this painting is that there's an Infinity of space and time that invites us the viewer to retreat into our own thoughts, our own imaginings.

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