Essay about Van Gogh Starry Night

942 Words Jul 18th, 2011 4 Pages
Brilliance of Van Gough’s Work The Starry Night
Vincent Van Gough is one of the most well known artists of all time, and one of his most popular paintings, The Starry Night, is an expression of his mystical vision. Vincent Willem Van Gogh was born in The Netherlands in 1853, he was a mentally plagued man but in his times of clarity produced works of art that to this day continue to astound people (Frank P.375). The Starry Night is oil on canvas landscape painting that Van Gough painted while in a mental Asylum at Saint-Remy in 1889 (Webmuseum). The Starry Night is one of the most recognizable paintings in the world and Van Gough’s techniques used in this work of art have elements and principles of design that made it renowned, famous
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The brush strokes and variation of shades of color that Van Gogh is known for creates a texture that make the painting seem rough but soft at the same time.
Van Gough uses the elemental pieces of art to form the principle of his design. Swirls in the sky give the feeling of movement as the wind is blowing while looking over the town on a cold night. The swirls in the sky also draw the viewer to move their eyes across the painting and look down at the town and then back to the large cypress tree. This is Van Gough’s use of asymmetrical balance and use of variety to let the viewer take in all the elements of the painting. The different sizes or proportion of the stars, town and cypress tree are all perceived different in real life, but Van Gough uses size to draw attention toward and away from objects while the similar brush stokes create a sense of rhythm and unity between all of them. “Connecting earth and sky is the flame like cypress, a tree traditionally associated with graveyards and mourning” MoMA 35). The cypress tree is the largest object in the painting and gives emphasis to it that draws the viewer’s attention.
My first impression of The Starry Night is that it is a nice picture of the stars at night, but after doing research and studying the painting I have a new appreciation for it. Van Gough in response to this painting said, “Looking at the stars always makes me dream. Why, I ask myself, shouldn't the shining dots of the sky be as

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