»Ghost Clouds« by Richard Riemerschmid


Richard Riemerschmid (1868–1957) was a German artist and architect and a major figure in Jugendstil (German form of Art Nouveau). Further, he worked in arts and handcrafts and created furniture, fabrics, wall paper, and dishes, and was the co-founder of the German Association of Craftsmen – an association of artists, architects and business men.

Riemerschmid did not achieve great fame, and his paintings are neither to be found in the really big museums of this world. However, one of his works, appears to be particularly worth mentioning with regard to the full moon; it is the painting »Ghost Clouds« from 1897.


You can see the full moon in the night sky, which is streaked by clouds. Shadowy figures form out of the clouds. One can recognize a woman that is followed by a man, whereas it is not clear what kind of chase this is, whether it is of playful nature or whether it contains a threat. The head and hair of the woman are directly in front of the full moon and melt with the moonlight into a magic unity. The man appears out of the dark clouds, stretches his arms out to reach the woman. It is an archaic scene of powerful symbolic force, the masculine tries to touch the feminine, an interplay between the sexes in a brief moment. The title »Ghost Clouds« reminds us simultaneously that this is an imaginary apparition.

This painting plays a particular role amongst the full moon paintings, because, not only does it portray the Moon as celestial body, but it also uses it as a symbol to tell a story and ask questions. Therein lies the more profound meaning of art.

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