The Starry Night

The Starry Night
Artist Vincent van Gogh
Year 1889
Medium Oil on canvas
Location Museum of Modern Art, New York City
Dimensions 29 in × 36.25 in
73.7 cm × 92.1 cm
Vincent van Gogh Famous Paintings
The Starry Night, 1889
Sunflowers, 1888
Starry Night Over the Rhone, 1888
Irises, 1889
The Potato Eaters, 1885
Yellow House, 1888
Café Terrace at Night, 1888
The Red Vineyard, 1888
Outskirts of Paris, 1887

Vincent van Gogh was known to be one of the famous and well-renowned painters in the history of art. His works were considered by the world, the works of a genius. One of his masterpieces which brought him to the portals of fame and honor was the widely known and esteemed, The Starry Night.

The Reason for Fame

One may ask why The Starry Night is so popular. One might say perhaps it is because of the stars that make you dream. Vincent van Gogh, himself, described it literally as not one of the important pieces of art that he made. He, the creator of the masterpiece, probably had missed what was so mystical about the painting.

Painting Features

The painting features a scene of a Dutch-looking town. It is mainly composed of stars ablaze in their own luminescence, picturesque town structures, and a bright crescent moon. The painting is exaggerated, as stated by van Gogh himself. It is like a replica of a beautiful night. A viewer might imagine himself in the scene, observing the night in peace and amazement. The night sky keeps the viewer’s eyes moving about the painting while following the curves and creating a dot pattern caused by its swirly pattern.

There are rolling hills that generate an aura of serenity from the town structures. The silent yet bright and fiery dark shades from the window of the structures could spark a viewer’s curiosity of the wonderful dark and starry skies.

A mysterious entity is then shown in the left of the portrait. It can be interpreted in different ways depending on who is viewing it. It creates a visual similarity from its pattern with the night sky. This similarity creates a sensation of depth in the artwork.

The Artist

Vincent Willem van Gogh was a Dutchman born on the 30th of March, 1853. He was known to be a painter of the post-impressionist style. Post-impressionism was used to describe the maturation of French art since Manet. Vincent practiced the used of vivid colors, distinctive brush strokes, thick application of paint, and unwavering subject matter about the realities of life.

On the other hand, rumors about his death became widely known, positing that the artist died due to an illness brought about by incoherence and inactivity.

Other Works

The Starry Night was just one of Van Gogh’s many works. He grew up loving to draw and later matured as an artist. He had 2,100 artworks, including 860 oil paintings and more than 1,300 watercolor paintings, drawings, prints, and sketches. He mostly focused on drawing portraits, including himself and delicately beautiful things like flowers and scenic wheat fields.

Some magnificent works of Vincent Van Gogh include: At Eternity’s Gate, Bedroom in Arles, Café Terrace at Night, and The Potato Eaters.

Oil Painting

The Starry Night was made with oil paint. It involves pigments that are bound with a medium of drying oil. The output of the process varies according to the painter’s choice of pigments and effects. It often shows sign of consistency in the painting.

Oil Painting was first used by Indian and Chinese painters for their Buddhist Paintings. Its origin started in western Afghanistan and later migrated to the west during the Middle Ages.

5 Responses to “The Starry Night”

  1. bethany says:

    i think this painting is very good and very deatailed this is the painting that inspired me to be an artist thank you vincent and r.i.p every artist who was inspired by you miss you and would like to thank you

  2. art says:

    That is really attention-grabbing, You’re an excessively professional blogger. I have joined your rss feed and look ahead to in quest of more of your fantastic post. Also, I’ve shared your website in my social networks

  3. Natella says:

    This is a beautiful post, really well-written! I have only one comment regarding Van Gogh’s death, you said that “the artist died due to an illness brought about by incoherence and inactivity” – see below info from Wikipedia:

    Adeline Ravoux, the innkeeper’s daughter who was only 13 at the time, clearly recalls the incidents of July 1890. In an account written when she was 76, reinforced by her father’s repeated reminders, she explains how on 27 July, van Gogh left the inn after breakfast. When he had not returned by dusk, given the artist’s regular habits, the family became worried. He finally arrived after nightfall, probably around 9 pm, holding his stomach. Adeline’s mother asked whether there was a problem. van Gogh started to answer with difficulty, “No, but I have…” as he climbed the stairs up to his room. Her father thought he could hear groans and found van Gogh curled up in bed. When he asked whether he was ill, van Gogh showed him a wound near his heart explaining: “I tried to kill myself.” During the night, van Gogh explained he had set out for the wheat field where he had recently been painting. During the afternoon he had shot himself with a revolver and passed out. Revived by the coolness of the evening, he had tried in vain to find the revolver to complete the act. He then returned to the inn.[1]

    Adeline goes on to explain how her father sent Anton Hirschig, also a Dutch artist staying in the inn, to alert the local physician who proved to be absent. He then called on van Gogh’s friend and physician, Dr Gachet, who dressed the wound but left immediately, considering it a hopeless case. Her father and Hirsching spent the night at van Gogh’s bedside. The artist sometimes smoked, sometimes groaned but remained silent almost all night long, dozing off from time to time. The following morning, two gendarmes visited the inn, questioning van Gogh about his attempted suicide. In response, he simply replied: “My body is mine and I am free to do what I want with it. Do not accuse anybody, it is I that wished to commit suicide.”[1]

    As soon as the post office opened on the Monday morning, Adeline’s father sent a telegram to van Gogh’s brother, Theo, who arrived by train during the afternoon. Adeline Ravoux explains how the two of them watched over van Gogh who fell into a coma and died at about one o’clock in the morning.[1] (The death certificate records the time of death as 1.30 am.)[26] In a letter to his sister Lies, Theo told of his brother’s feelings just before his death: “He himself wanted to die. When I sat at his bedside and said that we would try to get him better and that we hoped that he would then be spared this kind of despair, he said, “La tristesse durera toujours” (The sadness will last forever). I understood what he wanted to say with those words.”[27]

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