Wilhelm List, Daylight and Twilight (Tag und Dämmerung)

Private collection

Date: 1904
Technique: Oil on canvas

The present work is one of List’s most accomplished secessionist paintings. In Tag und Dämmerung, List describes night turning to day, a brief moment which according to Greek mythology was at Tartarus where Atlas held up the Heavens. List's lyrical interpretation shows Night with wings up-lifted, her face in shade and her head illuminated by a crown of stars, casting her gaze heavenward to the encroaching dawn sky heralded by the gilded male figure of Day who clasps an arc of golden light and moves into the Heavens, infusing the sky with a brilliant glow. The work certainly compares in conception and execution with Gustav Klimt's work of the period. This is evident in the strong vertical format of the composition, the allegorical subject matter and the distinctive hatching of the parallel brush strokes which both Klimt and List employed and which was a distinctive feature of secessionist painters of the time.

Source 1
Source 2

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