where is vincent van gogh starry night
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.
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.  
It is in light of such symbolist interpretations of The Starry Night that art historian Albert Boime presents his study of the painting. As noted above, Boime has proven that the painting depicts not only the topographical elements of Van Gogh’s view from his asylum window but also the celestial elements, identifying not only Venus but also the constellation Aries.  He suggests that Van Gogh originally intended to paint a gibbous Moon but “reverted to a more traditional image” of the crescent moon, and theorizes that the bright aureole around the resulting crescent is a remnant of the original gibbous version.  He recounts Van Gogh’s interest in the writings of Victor Hugo and Jules Verne as possible inspiration for his belief in an afterlife on stars or planets.  And he provides a detailed discussion of the well-publicized advances in astronomy that took place during Van Gogh’s lifetime.
The artist is looking down on a village from an imaginary viewpoint. It is framed by his newly-discovered motifs: at left a cypress towers skywards, at right a group of olive trees cluster into the cloud, and against the horizon run the undulating waves of the Alpilles. Van Gogh’s treatment of his motifs prompts associations with fire, mist and the sea,and the elemental power of the natural scene combines with the intangible cosmic drama of the stars. The eternal natural universe cradles the human settlement idyllically, yet also surrounds it menacingly. The village itself might be anywhere, Saint-Remy or Nuenen recalled in a nocturnal mood. The church spire seems to be stretching up into the elements, at once an antenna and a lightning conductor, like some kind of provincial Eiffel Tower (the fascination of which was never far from van Gogh’s nocturnes). Van Gogh’s mountains and trees (particularly the cypresses) had hardly been discovered but they seemed to crackle with an electric charge. Confident that he had grasped their natural appearance, van Gogh set out to remake their image in the service of the symbolic. Together with the firmament, these landscape features are singing the praises of Creation in this painting.
I don’t know anything with certainty, but seeing the stars makes me dream.”
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.
From the moment of his arrival in Arles, on 8 February 1888, Van Gogh was constantly preoccupied with the representation of “night effects”. In April 1888, he wrote to his brother Theo: “I need a starry night with cypresses or maybe above a field of ripe wheat.” In June, he confided to the painter Emile Bernard: “But when shall I ever paint the Starry Sky, this painting that keeps haunting me” and, in September, in a letter to his sister, he evoked the same subject: “Often it seems to me night is even more richly coloured than day”. During the same month of September, he finally realised his obsessive project.
He first painted a corner of nocturnal sky in Cafe Terrace on the Place du Forum, Arles (Otterlo, Rijksmuseum Kröller-Muller). Next came this view of the Rhône in which he marvellously transcribed the colours he perceived in the dark. Blues prevail: Prussian blue, ultramarine and cobalt. The city gas lights glimmer an intense orange and are reflected in the water. The stars sparkle like gemstones.