This impressionist work by the Dutchman Vincent Van Gogh was painted in 1889. Anyone looking at it may be fascinated by its intense coloring, the bright moon or its starry sky full of hypnotism. Currently, “The Starry Night” is at the Museum of Contemporary Art in New York and is visited by thousands of visitors each year. Nowadays, nobody dares to discuss the quality of his work , but during his life practically nobody recognized his value as a creator.
The personal situation of its creator brings relevant information
Van Gogh (1853-1890) was a tormented man who suffered severe bouts of depression , hallucinations, and epileptic fits. His work went virtually unnoticed and economically depended on his brother Theo. Because of his precarious physical, emotional and economic situation, he decided to enter the French asylum in Saint-Remy. During this period he found a certain peace of mind that allowed him to develop his work. One of the details that most caught his attention was the view he had from the window of his modest room.
At dusk he watched the sunset in all its splendor, so this stunning image finally resulted in the famous painting “The Starry Night”. The landscape that I was looking at was painted in many versions: at different times of the day, with rain or with different characters. However, the starry nights were the ones that really caught the attention.
Those responsible for the asylum would not let him paint in his room, so “The Starry Night” was painted using a combination of his memory and sketches made abroad.
Possible interpretations appreciated
The images that appear in “The Starry Night” caused all kinds of interpretation. They say that the stars symbolize his religious past, that the sky with spirals is a reflection of his tormented mind, that the cypresses presented represent the idea of death, and that the small village in the picture is related to his native land.
The reading of his letters reveals that Van Gogh was a passionate man, so the work “Starry Night” can be interpreted as a manifestation of his state of mind during his stay at the asylum in Saint-Remy.
A curious fact about this work is that he himself, Van Gogh himself, had a negative opinion about it. This information is known from the correspondence he had with his brother Theo.
The hypnotic image of the night sky also appears in other of his paintings, such as “The terrace at night”, “The church of Aurves” or “Starry night over the Rhône”.