The barn featured in George Ault’s ominous January Full Moon appears in many scenes the artist painted of an intersection in Woodstock, New York. The painting contrasts the looming structure with the deep-blue night sky and the snow-covered and moonlit landscape. The eerie effect of its deceptively complex design recalls the surreal and anxiety-laden architectural vignettes by Italian artist Giorgio de Chirico and may reflect Ault’s struggle with depression. Ault’s slick manner of painting reveals an affinity with a style known as Precisionism, which was shared among various American artists celebrating machine-age forms and efficiency. In January Full Moon, this style transforms the innocuous, antiquated barn into an undeniable, seemingly threatening monolith.


  • Title: January Full Moon
  • Creator: George Copeland Ault
  • Creator Lifespan: 1891 - 1948
  • Date Created: 1941
  • Physical Dimensions: w669.8 x h514.35 in (Unframed)
  • Type: Painting
  • Rights: Purchase: William Rockhill Nelson Trust (by exchange), Purchase: William Rockhill Nelson Trust (by exchange)
  • External Link: The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art
  • Medium: Oil on canvas
  • Culture: American

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