Vincent Van Gogh is one of the most famous artists who expanded the boundaries of people’s understanding of art. Van Gogh was born in 1853 in Zundert to a family of a pastor. This fact could explain the artists’ life-long interest in religion (“Vincent Van Gogh: Starry Night,” n. d.). The artist started his career as an employee of an international art dealing company, but he was dismissed in 1876 (Britannica, 2021). The painter became a preacher and worked in England for several years.
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Van Gogh was largely a self-taught painter who was devout to painting and exploring art. He decided to become a painter in 1880, so he started to travel a lot and taught himself to paint (Britannica, 2021). Van Gogh was in close contact with his brother Theo, writing letters to him. In his letters, Van Gogh wrote about art and the role it played or should play in people’s lives. In his writings, he also explained his inspirations and his emotional distress. The artist was not financially successful during his life, and his brother had to support him. Van Gogh’s works acquired popularity only after his death.
The Starry Night is one of Van Gogh’s most famous paintings that attracts millions of people’s attention across the globe. The masterpiece was created in an asylum for mentally ill people in 1889 (“Vincent Van Gogh: Starry Night,” n. d.). He was institutionalized after his notorious self-harming act, which was a result of a deep and lengthy depression. When in the asylum, he had considerable freedom as he could paint, read, write letters, and even leave the grounds. He even wrote he felt better and hoped to recover from his mental disturbances. However, soon there was a relapse, and the artist had hallucinations, as well as severe depressive symptoms and suicidal ideation. In 1891, he shot himself, and two days later, he died. The life and death of this great artist suggest that he was a strong personality and versatile painter who tried to bring his imagery to reality. He had his own view of nature and wanted others to see it.
As far as the painting in question is concerned, it can be seen as a reflection of Van Gogh’s inner world and the world around him. The picturesque village is depicted with the help of dark and rich colors that serve a good background for the starry blue sky. The bright yellow colors of the celestial bodies make the viewer think of the beauty of the world and the mysteries of the universe. The painting techniques are also remarkable as brush strokes create a strong impression. The painting seems to be a three-dimensional creation that absorbs viewers.
In conclusion, it is possible to note that Vincent Van Gogh is one of the most famous and misunderstood artists. He is often seen as a lunatic who cut his ear and eventually killed himself. At that, he was a great artist who contributed to the development of theoretical paradigms that guided and inspired many people. Van Gogh still sends his messages through decades, and the mysterious beauty of his Starry Night is one of such messages to decipher.
Van Gogh’s Starry Night
Is not a painting
But a dark blue delight.
Rich sapphire and purple city
Is resting in the gold of stars’
Shiny blissful pity.
Brilliant yellowish and joyful light
The moon and stars are radiating
Reveal the universe’s might.
The artist saw nocturnal marvels
And to heal his soul’s scars
He shared bright dreams with survivors.
The mysterious piece of a genius master,
With its uneven shadows and shapes,
Makes people’s hearts go faster.
Britannica. (2021). Vincent van Gogh: Dutch painter. In Britannica.
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Vincent Van Gogh: Starry Night. (n. d.). The Van Gogh Gallery.