A Gaze at The Starry Night
The painting, Starry Night, created by Van Gogh. Photograph taken by Uhuru1701.
One of the most recognizable and influential paintings of all time was created in a small room in an asylum back in the late 1800s. Vincent Van Gogh created Starry Night over 130 years ago, and it is still known as one of the most popular paintings today. Although a notably beautiful painting, there is a lot of history behind its work. Unlike the popularity of the painting, its story is much less known to the population.
Vincent Van Gogh was a dutch painter who lived in the late 1800s. When he was only a child, he began to draw very complex images. Art was his main focus in life, working for many dealers and learning to support himself. He also worked with many other types of mediums, including water color, sketches, drawing, and prints. His painting came last in life, and he didn’t start until he was around 20 years old. Over 2,100 paintings can be found in his collection.
Vincent Van Gogh struggled with many emotional and mental battles, which ultimately led to the self-inflicted removal of his left ear. After this point and on his own, he decided to check into an asylum, or mental hospital. Because of the low attendance at that time, he was able to have two rooms. One was used for living, and the other was used for painting. Several of his better known paintings were created during his time at the asylum.
Although Starry Night was the most popular, Van Gogh created about 23 other paintings of the same view. This was said to be looking east from the asylum, with the hills and village to the west. Each of the other paintings that were done had their own special characteristics. The sunshine, weather, and time of day were just some of the variables to change throughout the series of paintings. Starry Night was the most capturing and most memorable of this collection.
An amazing fact about this painting is the sheer creation of it. Van Gogh had two rooms, one upstairs and one downstairs. The one on the lower level was the one which served as the art studio, and the one above as living quarters. Under no circumstances was Van Gogh allowed to paint in his living room, which is where he was able see outside. He made countless sketches in which he would take to his art studio. Most of these were made with either charcoal or ink, if they were available to him. This is a remarkable feat, creating such complex oil paintings virtually from memory.
Little was said about the painting after its completion. Van Gogh sent many paintings to his brother, and others to friends around the area. There was hardly a mention of Starry Sky in any of these letters. There was one documentation when he even considered this painting a failure. The agitation he felt towards Starry Night was noted several times after it was first brought up, each time as a mistake or a learning project.
We can clearly see this is not the case with the painting, and its amazing to see it today shining with so much popularity. If only Van Gogh could see his work today, and see its high appreciation! Its something only to dream about, and continue finding a love for art inside each and every one of us.