The mysticism of the moonlight fascinated the artist, who used loose, stippled brushstrokes to replicate the effect of dappled blue light filtering through the verdant foliage. Largely inspired by the effect of Van Gogh’s complementary color touches, Smit establishes a delicate harmony between the forest and the midnight sky, its variegated texture instilling the painting with a rhythmic vitality. Luminescent against the darkened horizon, the temple’s architecture is reproduced in linear, shortened strokes of pink, red and yellows. The roughened pastiche of warm tones hints at the weathered quality of the temple gates, a testament to Smit’s virtuosity in conveying reality through abstract, simplified forms. Even in the subdued moonlight, the image pulsates with a quiet intensity, reminiscent of the vivacious energy that permeated Bali’s landscape. Unlike his contemporaries, Arie Smit was consumed by a painterly impulse to capture the remote aspects of the island, creating a romantic recollection of a Bali untouched by mass tourism.
 Luciënne Smit, Arie Smit: A Painter’s Life in the Tropics, Netherlands 2016, 178.
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