Starry Night, 1893 by Edvard Munch
Munch's setting for many of the Frieze paintings is the beach at Aasgaardstrand in the Oslo Fjord, where he had spent his summers since the late 1880s. He came to love the shore with its stony beaches that separated the sea from the forest, and it is this particular scenery that we come upon repeatedly in such work as Starry Night. One of its most prominent motifs is the hugely bulking shape of three linden trees whose crowns have merged to form a single outline. Prosaic enough in actuality, but raised by Munch's nocturnal vision to unexpected potency, the tree group with the white fence in front and even the white flagpole that stands out against the foliage like a mysterious light reflection may still be found in their places today, testifying to Munch's fundamentally literal approach.