According to Phyllis Braff, “Moran’s reputation as a painter of resonant, luminous effects can be linked, in part, to the atmospheric conditions he included in his paintings of this region. The area’s low terrain adjacent to the Atlantic Ocean provided an opportunity for the artist to add dramatic, water-enhanced reflections for compositions with large unbroken skies."
Of the Long Island paintings, Braff continues, saying, “In his concerns with observing the time of day, or the seasons, he often implies symbolic readings for these themes. Moran had begun to address the challenge of translating atmospheric characteristics of art into pigment early in his early career." Executed in 1901, Sunset on Long Island is one of several paintings that illustrate Moran’s interest in natural phenomena. The changing color of the sky at sunset, from fiery orange to violet, contrasts with the deep greens and browns of the vegetation, and is further emphasized by the sky’s reflection in the water. In Sunset on Long Island, sky, water, and land intersect, offering a glimpse into the unspoiled and romantic scenery of Long Island
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