An analysis of Van Goghs Starry Night

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An analysis of Van Goghs Starry Night


Starry Night is one of the most popular canvasesin modernday philosophy along with being one of the most simulated and pursued after images This painting was done by Vincent van Gogh when he was at an asylum in SaintRemy in 1889It is said that this painting is a view out of Van Goghs asylum window The painting shows swirling clouds in a starry night and a bright crescent moon overlooking perhaps a village This shows a contrast between the bright night sky and the silence of the village which is supposed to be Van Goghs hometown Netherland The painting also consists of a cypress tree which is typically found in graveyards This might have something to do with the artists perception of the inevitability of death and how close it is on Earth Starry Night is just one example of Vincent Van Goghs numerous painting which show night life from which it can be presumed that the artist loved night time Vincent van Goghs art is generally observed by criticizers as Early PostImpressionism The artist was inspired by the innovative ideas of Paul Gauguin and Camille Pissarro and wanted to bring out something innovative of his own because their works were being called repetitive and limiting

In his asylum Vincent van Gogh was not allowed to paint in his room on the second floor He was given a separate room and some charcoal and paper on which he used to do his work and then improve it later Van Gogh used to write about his painting to his brother however there does not exist a particular reason for the creation of this painting as the artist only wrote about Starry Nights twice A letter to his brother contained the following words

This morning I saw the country from my window a long time before sunrise with nothing but the morning star which looked very big

This is a very vague statement regarding the painting hence the reason for its creation remains unknown

I as a night lover myself feel very strongly about the painting Starry Nights The imagery of clouds painted in a swirling motion create a magnificent affect and brings out the beauty of the night which can only be seen from the eyes of a true lover of night time I am particularly impressed by the unique use of colors in the painting Which most peoples perception of the color of stars would be white Van Gogh has painted them a bright yellow and yet they appear to be a beautiful shining sight

2 Body

Vincent van Gogh was going through a serious medical condition at the time he painted Starry Nights This might be one of the reasons why his brush strokes are very thick and prominent in the painting which give a sever sense of drama in the painting His brush strokes have an unrelenting rhythm which creates the illusion of the image being in motion Moreover there is a certain consistency in his procedure that adds extra depth to the work

The most prominent shapes in the painting are of the circular motion in which the stars and the clouds are portrayed Normally clouds are never given the shape of circles in painting but in Starry Nights Van Gogh has shown them as swirling clouds forming a perfect circle and appear to be in motion The stars are also painted in a circular form rather than the typical pointed star form This results in the painting looking consistent as the stars and the clouds are both circular shapes

The main sources of light in the picture are the luminous stars and the hemispherical moon It is evident that the artist had a passion for night life as the painting shows a silent village resting underneath a dominant sky All the light sources are present in the sky as compared to in the village at the bottom

The darkness is reflected in the village at the bottom half of the painting It represents how gloomy the world looks as compared to the bright night sky Moreover the cypress tree is also a dark figure in the painting As cypress trees are mostly found in cemeteries this element of the painting is meant to show a connection between life

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