vincent van gogh the starry night meaning
At the time when Van Gogh painted The Starry Night he was in the asylum in Saint-Rémy.
It was 1889 and he was admitted there after a nervous breakdown, but there he could paint en plein air, and there he painted one of his masterpieces.
In those days Van Gogh wrote to his brother:
The sky, the nature, the starry night satisfied his desire for infinity.
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.
Vincent van Gogh: Emotion, Vision, and A Singular Style
While there’s no denying the popularity of Starry Night, it’s also interesting to note that there is very little known about Vincent’s own feelings toward his work. This is mainly due to the fact that he only mentions it in his letters to Theo twice (Letters 595 and 607), and then only in passing. In his correspondence with his brother, Vincent would often discuss specific works in great detail, but not so in the case of Starry Night. Why? It’s difficult to say.
New York: The Museum of Modern Art
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.
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 Night has risen to the peak of artistic achievements. Although Van Gogh sold only one painting in his whole life, “Starry Night” is an icon of modern art, the Mona Lisa for our time. As Leonardo da Vinci evoked a Renaissance ideal of serenity and self-control, Van Gogh defined how we see our own age – wracked with solitude and uncertainty. Since 1941 Starry Night has been in the permanent collection of the Museum of Modern Art in New York City.