The Starry Night Vincent van Gogh


This morning I saw the countryside from my window a long time before sunrise, with nothing but the morning star,  which looked very big,” wrote van Gogh to his brother Theo.After leaving Paris for more rural areas in southern France, Van Gogh was able to spend hours contemplating the stars without interference from gas or electric city street lights, which were increasingly in use by the late nineteenth centuryIt was nature, and the people living closely to it, that first stirred van Gogh’s artistic inclinations.This mid-scale, oil-on-canvas painting is dominated by a moon- and star-filled night sky. It is pocked with bright orbs—including the crescent moon to the far right, and Venus, the morning star, to the left of center—surrounded by concentric circles of radiant white and yellow light.Beneath this expressive sky sits a hushed village of humble houses surrounding a church, whose steeple rises sharply above the undulating blue-black mountains in the background. A cypress tree sits at the foreground of this night scene,Van Gogh created Starry Night in 1889 just thirteen months before his death when he was staying in an asylum at Saint-Remy.Van Gogh's use of white and yellow creates a spiral effect and draws attention to the sky. Vertical lines such as the cypress tree and church tower softly break up the composition without retracting from the powerful night sky.The Starry Night ,1889. Oil on canvas (73.7 x 92.1 cm)  The Museum of Modern Art


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