The Night – Gasthof zur Muldentalsperre by Peter Doig

Gasthof zur Muldentalsperre by Peter Doig

Thousands of stars shine high and bright in the sky, reflecting their shapes and luminosity in the water, travelling freely and gently brushing the grass away. With twilight comes night, and in a mere instant, darkness will descend over the lake and bridge.

Adorned with her glittering coat and her malicious dark eyes, the Night invades the land of Day, sending the wind first to announce her arrival. The latter flies over meadows, ponds and villages to leave behind a touch of brisk air, cooler temperatures and sometimes a trail of ice flakes.

At this time, each night, when the Sun bids farewell and the Moon takes reign, a couple appears in the landscape. They walk calmly, arm in arm, ever so lovingly. Their eyes twinkle like the stars, their heads swivel to admire the scenery as if they were walking along the bridge for the first time. Candidly, hastily, the duo hops and skips as their juvenile silhouettes describe invisible twirls.

A lady and a gentleman hand in hand welcome the sunset, the brisk air and the night,  ensconcing themselves with a coat and a hat, gloves and a scarf. Content to feel warm enough in the midst of icy weather, they embrace,  converse in smiles and titters, following their instincts while crossing the lake, glancing at the wink of the Night, a shooting star rushing into the dark sky.

Suddenly, a voice timidly begins to sing several notes and ceases. Astonished yet intrigued, the two characters slow down their walk and the voice starts chanting again. From the deep end of the lake, emerging from the water, a vibrant halo materializes in a voice swathing the lady and the gentleman with its soft tones, embarking them on higher notes in the manner of a rainbow reaching the infinity of the skies.

Charmed and in awe, the Night blushes and reveals  her emotions appear unexpectedly. A palette magically enhances the wall of the bridge, the gowns of the characters with vibrant tones, subtly colouring the façade as well as the interior of each of the living beings composing the landscape of the night.

Shivering, yet marvelled and delighted, the gentleman and his lady admire the world around them, for this is all that they could wish for. Silence now reigns over the meadow and lake. Suspended in time, in the middle of the night, wrapped up in cozy layers, they look at each other and smile, and at this precise moment, the stars turn into flakes, allowing a rain of snow to add another touch of colour to the masterpiece of the Night.


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