starry night medium

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 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.

Starry night medium
By 1888, van Gogh had returned to the French countryside, where he would remain until his death. There, close once again to the peasants who had inspired him early on, he concentrated on painting landscapes, portraits (of himself and others), domestic interiors, and still lifes full of personal symbolism.
It was nature, and the people living closely to it, that first stirred van Gogh’s artistic inclinations. In this he was not alone. Landscapes remained a popular subject in late-nineteenth-century art. Driven in part by their dissatisfaction with the modern city, many artists sought out places resembling earthly paradises, where they could observe nature firsthand, feeding its psychological and spiritual resonances into their work. Van Gogh was particularly taken with the peasants he saw working the countryside; his early compositions featured portraits of Dutch peasants and rural landscapes, rendered in dark, moody tones.

Starry night medium
Van Gogh painted The Starry Night during his 12-month stay at the Saint-Paul-de-Mausole asylum near Saint-Rémy-de-Provence, France, several months after suffering a breakdown in which he severed a part of his own ear with a razor. While at the asylum, he painted during bursts of productivity that alternated with moods of despair. As an artist who preferred working from observation, van Gogh was limited to the subjects that surrounded him—his own likeness, views outside his studio window, and the surrounding countryside that he could visit with a chaperone.
The Starry Night, a moderately abstract landscape painting (1889) of an expressive night sky over a small hillside village, one of Dutch artist Vincent van Gogh’s most celebrated works.

Starry night medium
F1541r Landscape with Cypresses, Van Gogh Museum
After having initially held it back, Van Gogh sent The Starry Night to Theo in Paris on 28 September 1889, along with nine or ten other paintings. [24] [72] Theo died less than six months after Vincent, in January 1891. Theo’s widow, Jo, then became the caretaker of Van Gogh’s legacy. She sold the painting to poet Julien Leclercq in Paris in 1900, who turned around and sold it to Émile Schuffenecker, Gauguin’s old friend, in 1901. Jo then bought the painting back from Schuffenecker before selling it to the Oldenzeel Gallery in Rotterdam in 1906. From 1906 to 1938 it was owned by Georgette P. van Stolk, of Rotterdam, who sold it to Paul Rosenberg, of Paris and New York. It was through Rosenberg that the Museum of Modern Art acquired the painting in 1941. [82]

Starry night medium
Vincent van Gogh
The artist was aware that his Starry Night composition was somewhat surreal and stylized and in a letter to his brother he even referred to “exaggerations in terms of composition. “ The vivid style chosen by van Gogh was unusual – he chose lines to portray this night scene when silhouettes would have been a more obvious choice.

References:

http://www.moma.org/learn/moma_learning/vincent-van-gogh-the-starry-night-1889/
http://www.britannica.com/topic/The-Starry-Night
http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Starry_Night
http://www.artble.com/artists/vincent_van_gogh/paintings/starry_night/more_information/analysis
http://totallyhistory.com/the-starry-night/

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