Van gogh’s the starry night

Van Goghs ‘ The Starry Night’ ‘ The starry night’ is a painting by the Dutch artist Vincent Van Gogh. ‘ Starry night’ got painted by Van Gogh in 1889 while he was in an asylum at Saint Remy. The painting is currently on location in New York and is owned by the museum of modern art. The media is oil on canvas. The size of Van Gogh’s original work is 29 × 36 ¼ in (Thomson 6). The painting depicts the night view of a town below. In the painting, the night sky gets filled with swirling clouds, a bright crescent moon, and blazing, luminescent stars. The town in the painting gets located below the rolling hills of the horizon. To the left of the painting is an enormous tree that over scales other objects in the painting.
In the painting, Van Gogh makes use of actual lines for the swirling shape of the stars in the sky. The lines are horizontal thus acting as directional movement indicators. The lines act as the focal point of the painting (Castillo 46). Most of the shapes in the painting are curving, swaying and undulating organic shapes that end in spirals and repeated circles in the sky. The only contrast to the organic shapes s that of the town which is geometric. Van Gogh’s painting provides both 2D and 3D space. The 2D space gets portrayed by the visual field which gets divided into three areas; the upper sky, the lower earth, town, mountains, and the third represented by the tall, flame like tree. Depth in the painting gets organized into several distinct planes; the town, the hills, the sky, and then the foreground cypress tree.
Van Gogh provides the aspect of time through the use of the bright stars and moon. This aspect makes it easy to depict the time as night. Through the use of lines, the artist provides horizontal motion in the painting. The landscape that is the hills and horizon appear to sway left to right. The sky also appears to move from left to right, ending in large spirals at the centre. Contrastingly, the cypress tree thrusts upwards dramatically. The artist employs the use of light to depict the nighttime in the painting. The powerful sky appears to sit above the quiet town. The main sources of light are the bright stars and the crescent moon. Van Gogh uses color to create harmony in the painting (Thomson 22). Blue dominates the subordinate yellow color in the painting. The stars and the moon provide the bright yellow which gets overshadowed by the blue in the night sky and the village. The painting has a rough texture due o the apparent use of heavy brushstrokes. The painting has both visual and physical texture which is ragged.
The image gets largely unified by the prominent rich color, texture and dynamic line colors (Castillo 34). The swirling and flowing lines fill the sky unifying the entire painting. The lines in the image create a sense of movement and move the eye through the entire piece. Emphasis on the piece is on the night sky with the swirling clouds and bright stars and moon. The image plane gets divided into two distinct areas; the landscape and the sky. The two areas appear bridged by few vertical features notably the enormous tree and the steeple. The swirling, flowing and curvilinear lines used in the painting provide directional forces in the painting. The use of contrast in the image is evident by the use of the bright yellow against the dark blue. The use of repetition in the image gets employed through the flowing and swirling lines throughout the image. The flowing lines provide rhythm throughout the entire piece. Apart from the enormous tree in the painting, everything in the image is true to scale and has accurate proportion.
Works Cited
Castillo, Jane. 7 Elements of Art. New York: Morgan James Publishing, 2008.
Thomson, Richard. Vincent Van Gogh: The starry night. New York: The Museum of Modern Art,