Another piece of art that I wrote about was Starry Night. Seeing it in person was so fascinating. It wasn't a large painting, but it is amazing to see the use of line. It is also such a prized painting, work hundreds of millions of dollars. To think that Vincent Van Gogh sold only one painting in his short tortured life time. He never was able to see his talent nor fame.
The Starry Night
Van Gogh painted starry night in 1889. It is an oil on canvas and is part of the post-impressionism period. The composition of this painting includes clouds, shining stars, and a bright crescent moon. Most everyone can relate to the scene depicted in this painting. What makes this composition unique is how these elements are conveyed. Van Gogh uses his brush strokes to swirl the clouds, thus drawing the viewer’s eye around the painting. (Artble) I personally noticed that I was looking at it from left to right, following the swirling cloud. As I moved from left to right, I was drawn to the bottom of the painting and then back around to the sun. It has long been thought that Van Gogh suffered from mental illness. At the end of 1888 he committed himself to an asylum. (Vangoghgallery) It has been noted that he has suffered from epilepsy, psychotic attacks and possibly depression. During this period he struggled to create works of art due to the frequency of his attacks. He did manage to create The Starry Night one of his most influential pieces. One hypothesis is that the swirling lines of the sky represent his internal uncertainty. (Vangoghgallery)
The color yellow is very noticeable in this painting. There is a yellow halo around each star and the sun is a very bright yellow. There have been many theories as to why the yellow is so vibrant. One explanation relates to the treatment of his seizure disorder. At that time digitalis was used to treat seizures. (Now this medication is used to treat cardiac arrhythmias). People receiving large and repeated doses often see a yellow-green tint.(Wolf) The most amazing thing about Vincent Van Gogh and this painting was his view of himself. He viewed himself as a failure, and that his life was a horrible waste. (Vangoghhallery) He shot himself in the chest and died a few days later. The ironic piece to this story is that his sister in law took his works to Holland to get Van Gogh his due recognition (Artble) His success was overwhelming and he is still considered a master today.
I am fascinated with the swirling lines, the starry sky and the landscape background. Each time I look at this painting, I see more detail. It’s composition and style are quite different from any other artist. I would absolutely love to make an art quilt out of one of his paintings. He remains one of my favorite painters.
"Starry Night." Artble. n.p., n.d. Web. October 5, 2012.
"Van Gogh Gallery." Artble. n.p., n.d. Web. October 5, 2012. <http://www.vangoghgallery.com/misc/later.html>.
Wolf, Paul. "Van Gogh Gallery." Paul Wolf West J. Med 2001 November; 175(5):34. National Institute of Health. NCBI, November 2001. Web. October 5, 2012. <http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1071623/>.