Most nightly features, including the moon, are exaggerated with yellow colour to highlight their effects and create a sense of ease when viewing the picture. The swirling clouds and the radiance surrounding the stars create a sense of movement as if the sky were in constant motion and turbulence. Use of white and yellow attracts the viewer’s attention the sky. This false perception helps maintain the vision of viewers and encourages them to pursue the other elements embodied within the painting. It is possible that bouts of depression and hallucination could be behind his thick and distinctive brushstrokes that further dramatize the painting4. The sky gives way to a number of hills and a small town at their base. In contrast to the vibrant sky, the town appears peaceful with its occupants enjoying a blissful night of sleep. The cooler and darker colours used to paint the town and the hillside could perhaps be a reminder of our vision during childhood of darkness and the nightly skies5. The much larger and taller church seem to overwhelm every other building in the town and project the notion of tranquillity and peace within the town. The depiction of the church is further symbolic of its significant role in the daily lives of the town’s residents. The size and wobbly portrayal of the cypress trees to the left symbolizes its isolation and embodies a sense of depth within the artwork. Q5 Van Gogh painted the ‘Starry Night’ in 1888 while he was resident in a mental asylum. Rather than being a real life portrait, the painting is a depiction of Van Gogh’s imaginary vision when he looks out of his window. It is evident that this impressionist portrayal is highly creative and casts a heart rendering insight into Van Gogh’s mental health. In fact, Van...
Van Gogh completed ‘The Starry Night’ about an year before his death at the mental asylum in Saint-Remy. This painting is widely regarded as the best work of Van Gogh as it depicts his struggles between reality and insanity. This artwork depicts radiant streaks of yellow emanating from the planets that rotate like cartwheels . The scenery seems shaky and in turbulence, although the brightly lit night sky appears calm and restful. ‘Starry Night’ has played a revolutionary role in modern art and has been highly sought after and replicated.
In his early years, Van Gogh had wanted to devote his time towards the poor and needy. In fact, his desire for religion and evangelization is believed to be reflected in the eleven stars that occupy the nightly sky in the painting. Experts like (include author) cite Genesis 37-9 as clear evidence towards this connection: "And he dreamed yet another dream, and told it his brethren, and said, Behold, I have dreamed a dream more; and, behold, the sun and the moon and the eleven stars made obeisance to me."
In fact, this religious inclination is showcased in earlier paintings such as the 1888 depiction of stars on the Rhone river. Much like the ‘Starry Night’, this painting contains similar features such as night sky being washed with bright streaks of yellow light from several stars. The reflection of the city’s (Arles) lights in the river water instils an added sense of reality into the canvas and maintains the vision of the viewer. This is further enhanced by distant structures that are lit up from the glowing night sky.
The ‘Starry Night’ played a key role in the emergence of modern art during the post-impressionist era.