The Starry Night, June 1889

Details     Description
Artist Van Gogh, Vincent Willem

Our first impression is the rolling rhythm of the sky – as much like the sea as the heavens - that seems to fill the whole canvas. But presently we see that this is no cataclysm engulfing the earth. The tree shoots up in flame-like projection, and the village nestles tranquility around its church beneath a surge of sky that is not so much awful as magnificent.
For an explanation of the kind of symbolism Van Gogh aimed at we can do no better than to quote the artist himself, writing to his brother a year earlier from Arles: “ I am always in hope of making a discovery (in the study of colour), to express the love of two lovers by a marriage of two complementary colours, their mingling and their opposition, the mysterious vibrations of kindred tones… To express hope by some star, the eagerness of a soul by a sunset radiance. Certainly there is nothing in that of stereoscopic realism, but is it not something that actually exists?”


June 1889

Institution Museum of Modern Art, New York City
Medium Oil on canvas
Dimensions 73.7 x 92.1 cm














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