The Starry Night is a world-renowned work of art, but there’s more to it than you might have known. The view that inspired the painting was not from Vincent van Gogh’s bedroom window but the second story of the Saint-Paul-de-Mausole asylum.
As an artist, van Gogh was never satisfied with his work. Consequently, Van Gogh painted two versions of the Starry Night: one in 1888 and another in 1889. In both paintings, the artist depicts cypress trees, but the 1889 version has a much darker tone. The two cypresses in the foreground have been interpreted as the two people van Gogh loved, his brother and artist Paul Gauguin. However, symbolically cypresses represent death.
What is the meaning of Starry Night?
The Starry Night depicts a swirling sky filled with stars and a crescent moon, commonly viewed as a symbol of hope. The second version of the painting is more heightened than the first as van Gogh incorporated swirls of bright yellow, white, blue, and many more stars.
The painting presents to the viewer in many different manners, but van Gogh’s own words shed light on the meaning behind the work. After the first completed version of the painting, van Gogh wrote to his brother, Theo, saying the painting was “This morning I saw the country from my window a long time before sunrise, with nothing but the morning star, which looked very big.”
Stars can be seen throughout the painting, but the one that stands out is the bright yellow star at the top of the painting. The painting depicts a swirling sky filled with stars and a crescent moon, commonly viewed as a symbol of hope. Gogh’s The Starry Night is an evocation of the artist’s experience of the night sky.
But, like all art, it’s more than that. It’s a reflection of van Gogh’s emotional state at the time, his deep longing for his brother Theo, and his struggles with mental illness.
Van Gogh’s creative use of religion and rejection
Impressionism’s light brushstrokes and bright colors were a reaction to the hyper-realistic painting of the Renaissance. Van Gogh’s Starry Night helped create the Post-Impressionist movement, with heavier, geometric brushstrokes and even more intense, vivid colors.
Vincent van Gogh’s most famous painting, Starry Night, is a prime example of his later style. It is an expression behind an iron barred window for his love of nature and his spirituality.
The swirling brushstrokes in Starry Night are reminiscent of the dancing colors in a starry night sky. The whirling lines of the brushstrokes meant to evoke the movement of the stars. And the thick, dark strokes also suggest the power of the stars. The night sky is not just a pretty sight but a source of connectivity between the church spire and the cypresses. Looming large over the living landscape.
Vincent van Gogh’s (1853-1890) work reflects his deep spiritual life and his love of nature. While Van Gogh’s early works are naturalistic in style, but as he matured, he painted with more of a personal expression. In his later works, he used vivid colors and exaggerated proportions to express his emotions.