starry nights by vincent van gogh

Starry nights by vincent van gogh
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 artists’ 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 “very sensitive to color and its particular language, its effects of complementaries, contrasts, harmony.” 2
Vincent van Gogh: Emotion, Vision, and A Singular Style

Starry nights by vincent van gogh
4) Physicist Jose Luis Aragon compared the turbulent play of light and dark in such works as “Starry Night” to the mathematical expression of turbulence in such natural occurrences as as whirlpools and air streams. He found they matched very closely. Two other Van Gogh paintings from 1890, WheatField with Crows and Road with Cypress and Star also feature this mathematical parallel. Aragon suggests that since the artist created these particular artworks during periods of extreme mental agitation, Van Gogh was uniquely able to accurately communication that agitation using precise gradations of luminescence.
7) Research has confirmed that the dominant morning star in the painting is actually Venus, which was in a similar position at the time Van Gogh was working on “Starry Night,” and it would have shone brightly, just as Van Gogh painted it.

Starry nights by vincent van gogh
Vincent van Gogh painted Starry Night in 1889 during his stay at the asylum of Saint-Paul-de-Mausole near Saint-Rémy-de-Provence. Van Gogh lived well in the hospital; he was allowed more freedoms than any of the other patients. If attended, he could leave the hospital grounds; he was allowed to paint, read, and withdraw into his own room. He was even given a studio. While he suffered from the occasional relapse into paranoia and fits – officially he had been diagnosed with epileptic fits – it seemed his mental health was recovering.
Unfortunately, he relapsed. He began to suffer hallucination and have thoughts of suicide as he plunged into depression. Accordingly, there was a tonal shift in his work. He returned to incorporating the darker colors from the beginning of his career and Starry Night is a wonderful example of that shift. Blue dominates the painting, blending hills into the sky. The little village lays at the base in the painting in browns, greys, and blues. Even though each building is clearly outlined in black, the yellow and white of the stars and the moon stand out against the sky, drawing the eyes to the sky. They are the big attention grabber of the painting.
Starry Night is one of the most recognized pieces of art in the world. It is absolutely everywhere, too. It can be seen on coffee, mugs, t-shirts, towels, magnets, etc. Honestly, it sometimes feels as if the painting’s fame has exceeded that of its creator. It is a magnificent piece of art. That Starry Night resonates with so many people is a testament to how its beauty is timeless and universal.

Starry nights by vincent van gogh
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.
Although van Gogh’s subjects were restricted, his style was not. He experimented with the depiction of various weather conditions and changing light, often painting the wheat fields nearby under a bright summer sun or dark storm clouds. Van Gogh was also particularly preoccupied by the challenges of painting a night landscape and wrote about it not only to his brother, Theo, but to a fellow painter, Émile Bernard, and to his sister, Willemien. In a letter addressed to the latter, he alleged that night was more colourful than day and that stars were more than simple white dots on black, instead appearing yellow, pink, or green. By the time van Gogh arrived at Saint-Rémy, he had already painted a few night scenes, including Starry Night (Rhône) (1888). In that work, stars appear in bursts of yellow against a blue-black sky and compete with both the glowing gas lamps below and their reflection in the Rhône River.

Starry nights by vincent van gogh
He wrote about existing in another dimension after death and associated this dimension with the night sky. “It would be so simple and would account so much for the terrible things in life, which now amaze and wound us so, if life had yet another hemisphere, invisible it is true, but where one lands when one dies.” [41] “Hope is in the stars,” he wrote, but he was quick to point out that “earth is a planet too, and consequently a star, or celestial orb.” [36] And he stated flatly that The Starry Night was “not a return to the romantic or to religious ideas.” [42]
F1541v Bird’s-Eye View of the Village, Van Gogh Museum

References:

http://www.vincentvangogh.org/starry-night.jsp
http://www.vangoghgallery.com/painting/starry-night.html
http://www.britannica.com/topic/The-Starry-Night
http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Starry_Night
http://www.vincentvangogh.org/starry-night.jsp

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