Some of the most emotionally-loaded landscapes from Munch’s Ekely-period are a group of blue-tinted winter night pictures which he painted in a short period between 1922 and 1924.
The motifs, seen from his house at Ekely, convey a sense of calm, harmony and stability which is partly achieved with the help of rounded shapes ]which are joined together in a firm and purposeful construction. The pictures get their light from the starry sky, the night light above the town and the light from his own room.
In Starry Night you can see a shadow which is cast on the veranda steps by a strong indoor light. The shadow, probably Munch’s own, contributes to the painting’s evocation of loneliness in the face of death.
At the same time as Munch was painting the winter landscapes around Ekely he was very interested in Henrik Ibsen’s play John Gabriel Borkman. The shadow of Munch that we see in Starry Night could just as well be interpreted as that of Borkman, the old man on his way out into the winter night in order to die in the play’s tragic final scene.