It is autumn and the days are getting shorter. In winter I don’t mind the cold so much, but the darkness really gets to me. Therefore it is with a certain sadness and sorrow that I nowadays watch the sun disappearing and I see this sadness reflected in this painting.It is quiet and there is nothing that disturbs the smooth surface of the pond. The last beam of the setting sun is reflected clearly. The sky and trees are reflected in the dark water in cool shades of blue and green, foreboding the chill of night. The only warmth lies in the glimmer of sun, small and just about to disappear. We stand silently at the edge of the pond, bidding farewell to the light.
Winter light (as I am not so far north as to live in eternal darkness) is a very special kind of light. It is soft and subdued, as cool as the landscape it illuminates. The sun never reaches the strength and warmth like in summer and dawn immediately progresses to dusk. What is a fleeting moment in summer is now the reality of a full day. There is a serene beauty to it that we can cherish while we wait for the days to become longer again.
Artwork: Julia Beck, 1888, Sista solstrålen (the last sunbeam). Seen at Nationalmuseum, Stockholm.