who painted a starry night
Largely self-taught, van Gogh produced more than 2,000 oil paintings, watercolors, drawings, and sketches, which became in demand only after his death. He also wrote scores of letters, especially to his brother Theo, in which he worked out his thoughts about art. вЂњAlways continue walking a lot and loving nature, for thatвЂ™s the real way to learn to understand art better and better,вЂќ he wrote in 1874. вЂњPainters understand nature and love it, and teach us to see.вЂќ 1
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.
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.
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.
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.
F1548 Wheatfield, Saint-Rémy de Provence, Morgan Library & Museum
Art historian Sven Loevgren expands on Schapiro’s approach, again calling The Starry Night a “visionary painting” which “was conceived in a state of great agitation.”  He writes of the “hallucinatory character of the painting and its violently expressive form,” although he takes pains to note that the painting was not executed during one of Van Gogh’s incapacitating breakdowns.  Loevgren compares Van Gogh’s “religiously inclined longing for the beyond” to the poetry of Walt Whitman.  He calls The Starry Night “an infinitely expressive picture which symbolizes the final absorption of the artist by the cosmos” and which “gives a never-to-be-forgotten sensation of standing on the threshold of eternity.”  Loevgren praises Schapiro’s “eloquent interpretation” of the painting as an apocalyptic vision  and advances his own symbolist theory with reference to the eleven stars in one of Joseph’s dreams in the Old Testament book of Genesis.  Loevgren asserts that the pictorial elements of The Starry Night “are visualized in purely symbolic terms” and notes that “the cypress is the tree of death in the Mediterranean countries.” 
At the asylum, van Gogh observed the night sky from his barred bedroom window and wrote a letter to Theo describing a magnificent view of the morning star very early one morning in the summer of 1889. Because he was not allowed to paint in his bedroom, he painted the scene from memory or possibly drawings and used his imagination for the small village that did not actually exist. Employing the expressive style he had developed during his stay in Paris in 1886–88, he applied the paint directly from the tube onto the canvas, creating thick impasto and intense hues. Ambivalent about working from his imagination, van Gogh eventually regarded the finished Starry Night as a failure, and Theo frankly indicated that the painting favoured style over substance.
The oil-on-canvas painting is dominated by a night sky roiling with chromatic blue swirls, a glowing yellow crescent moon, and stars rendered as radiating orbs. One or two cypress trees, often described as flame-like, tower over the foreground to the left, their dark branches curling and swaying to the movement of the sky that they partly obscure. Amid all this animation, a structured village sits in the distance on the lower right of the canvas. Straight controlled lines make up the small cottages and the slender steeple of a church, which rises as a beacon against rolling blue hills. The glowing yellow squares of the houses suggest the welcoming lights of peaceful homes, creating a calm corner amid the painting’s turbulence.