van gogh starry night interpretation
An Analysis on Vincent van Gogh’s Starry Night
The first thing that I noticed was the overwhelming night sky, which takes up most of the background. Its swirling, flowing lines appear to be swishing across the background in this gentle, wavy motion and seem to be merging at the centre to form this spiral-like formation. Eleven fiery yellow stars that look like huge fireballs illuminate this whole piece and contrast with the cool blue, fluid night sky that takes on an amazing variety of shades of blue and grey. There is also the crescent moon at the top right hand corner that radiates a more orange, brighter light from the rest of the stars. The view of the night sky and village is partially blocked by this huge cypress bush in the foreground. It has this writhing quality to it and its black green colouring stands out to the rest of the relatively pastel piece. The houses are tiny and inconspicuously painted in the bottom right corner of the painting and blend in quite well with the forest and mountains. The architecture of the village is quaint and simple and no light illuminates the village, giving the impression that everyone there is probably asleep. In general, his brush strokes are heavy and thick and have this insistent, hectic rhythm to it. As a result, this painting has an illusion of constantly being in motion.
An end-of-the-world cataclysm invades Van Gogh’s Starry Night, one of apocalypse filled with melting aerolites and comets adrift. One has the impression that the artist has expelled his inner conflict onto a canvas. Everything here is brewed in a huge cosmic fusion. The sole exception is the village in the foreground with its architectural elements. Several months after painting Starry Night, Van Gogh wrote: “Why, I say to myself, should the spots of light in the firmament be less accessible to us than the black spots on the map of France. Just as we take the train to go to Tarascon or Rouen, we take death to go to a star.”
6) In his 2015 book, “Cosmographics,” Michael Benson contends that the inspiration behind the distinctive swirls in the sky of Van Gogh’s “Starry Night” is an 1845 drawing by astronomer William Parsons, Earl of Rosse, of the Whirlpool Galaxy.
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.
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.
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
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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.
Van Gogh´s choice of color in Starry Night has been much debated, particularly the dominance of yellow in this and other late works. Some believe van Gogh may have been suffering from lead poisoning or a type of brain disease and that this explains his strange use of color in later paintings.