Arthur B. Carles, Moonlight

Arthur B. Carles: Moonlight (c. 1908) Oil on canvasboard
c. 1908
Oil on canvasboard
Credit Line
Gift of Bill Scott in honor of the staff at Woodmere Art Museum, 2011
7 1/2 x  9 1/2 in.

Arthur B. Carles was born in Philadelphia, PA, and had a great influence on the development of modernism and abstract painting in America. He is best known for his daring use of color and the verve of his personality. A documentary about Carles and his accomplishments can be seen here.

Moonlight is one of three small paintings that Carles created during a trip to Europe in the first decade of the twentieth century. The painting is a poetic contemplation of the manner in which nighttime light and color diffuse together, and the elements of the landscape are simplified into shapes. Carles was much impressed by the mysterious, eerie landscapes of Edvard Munch, who made a painting with the same title.

Carles was an influential instructor at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts (PAFA) who embraced the modern age and introduced his students to the work and ideas of the European avant-garde. Of his students, those whose artwork is featured at Woodmere Art Museum include Quita Brodhead, Jane Piper, Faye Swengel Badura, Bernard Badura, Jessie Drew-Bear, Elizabeth Godshalk BurgerMorris Blackburn, and Leon Kelly.


Arthur B. Carles: Philadelphia Artist from Jonnyres on Vimeo.

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