starry night vincent van gogh sketches
The Starry Night is the only nocturne in the series of views from his bedroom window. In early June, Vincent wrote to Theo, “This morning I saw the countryside from my window a long time before sunrise with nothing but the morning star, which looked very big”. [L 5] Researchers have determined that Venus was indeed visible at dawn in Provence in the spring of 1889, and was at that time nearly as bright as possible. So the brightest “star” in the painting, just to the viewer’s right of the cypress tree, is actually Venus.  
Van Gogh argued with Bernard and especially, Paul Gauguin as to whether one should paint from nature, as Van Gogh preferred,  or paint what Gauguin called “abstractions”:  paintings conceived in the imagination, or de tête.  In the letter to Bernard, Van Gogh recounted his experiences when Gauguin lived with him for nine weeks in the fall and winter of 1888: “When Gauguin was in Arles, I once or twice allowed myself to be led astray into abstraction, as you know. . . . But that was delusion, dear friend, and one soon comes up against a brick wall. . . And yet, once again I allowed myself to be led astray into reaching for stars that are too big—another failure—and I have had my fill of that.”  Van Gogh here is referring to the expressionistic swirls which dominate the upper center portion of The Starry Night. 
Observation and Imagination in The Starry Night (1889)
In 1886, van Gogh moved to Paris, where he encountered the works of the Impressionists and Neo-Impressionists, and the Pointillist compositions of Georges Seurat. Inspired by these artistsвЂ™ harmonious matching of colors, shorter brushstrokes, and liberal use of paint, he brightened his own palette and loosened his brushwork, emphasizing the physical application of paint on the canvas. The style he developed in Paris and carried through to the end of his life became known as Post-Impressionism, a term encompassing works made by artists unified by their interest in expressing their emotional and psychological responses to the world through bold colors and expressive, often symbolic images. In a letter to his sister Willemien, touching upon the mind and temperament of artists, van Gogh once wrote that he was вЂњvery sensitive to color and its particular language, its effects of complementaries, contrasts, harmony.вЂќ 2
Vincent van Gogh Starry Night, sketch | June 1889, Kunsthalle Bremen (currently in Moscow)
Saint-Rémy (view on the city)
The precise history of the ledger is hazy. Its owner – who wishes to remain anonymous – was given it by her mother more than 50 years ago and says she had no inkling of its claimed links to Van Gogh. To her, it was “a pretty album of drawings” that reminded her of her mother, Welsh-Ovcharov said.
In a testimony published in a new book about the drawings, the owner explains that her mother came across it, along with a handwritten journal, towards the end of the second world war following bombing of Arles and the surrounding area by allied planes.
“This morning I saw the countryside from my window a long time before sunrise, with nothing but the morning star, which looked very big,” wrote van Gogh to his brother Theo, describing his inspiration for the painting. The window was in the Saint-Paul asylum in Saint-Rémy, in southern France, where he sought respite from his emotional suffering.
The dark spires in the foreground are cypress trees, plants most often associated with cemeteries and death. This gives a special significance to this van Gogh quote, “Looking at the stars always makes me dream. Why, I ask myself, shouldn’t the shining dots of the sky be as accessible as the black dots on the map of France? Just as we take the train to get to Tarascon or Rouen, we take death to reach a star.”