Within the Romantic movement there was a strong fascination for glowing celestial bodies and haloes in mystical colors, that looked as if they were just forming from a melted phase. They were placed on top, in a vertical format, like most of O’Keeffe’s city paintings.
The suns and the moons are an abstract translation of prechristian worship of the Sun and Moon, in Northern European landscape painting and shows that the abstract existed already during the Romantic period.
Munch, Van Gogh, Mondrian and the early Kandinsky have all painted these mystical moons and melted suns, that make the landscape pulsate.
Van Gogh: Starry Night, 1889
An unusually intense halo phenomenon took place over Old Town Stockholm, Sweden, in 1535, depicted in the painting below, viewing from the south. This event was interpreted as a bad omen and many thought it was God’s punishment over the king, Gustaf Vasa, who had shown disrespect for powerful men within the catholic church. Many panicked and scrambled into the churches for protection and to avoid the wreath of God.
Urban Målare (=Painter),The Weather Sun Picture
Oil painting, 1535
Storkyrkan, Stockholm, Sweden