Vincent Van Gogh : Starry Night Essay

Vincent Van Gogh : Starry Night Essay

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Vincent Van Gogh: Starry Night
Few paintings capture my imagination quite like Vincent Van Gogh’s The Starry Night. From the first time I ever saw it I was captivated by the seductive swirls of light in the sky and sleepy town in the distance. Like many college students in the early 2000s I had this poster framed on my dorm room wall along with another famous piece by Van Gogh called Café Terrace at Night.
The surreal scene takes place in the early morning while the moon is still out. Heavy brush strokes and a limited color palette gives the painting a more abstract feel rather than a realistic one. The vastness of the early morning sky depicts a sense of grandeur and remarkable beauty. The light of the sun is just starting to creep over the mountain range in the distance. At the foot of those mountains is a sleepy little town. There is a little white chapel on the edge of town. You can almost hear the church bells ringing telling the townspeople it’s time to wake up. A few townspeople must have heard the bells because some of the little houses have candles burning in the windows. The sky above the town almost looks like it’s dancing. Swirls of varying shades of blue and white and yellow make the stars and stylized crescent moon come to life. The swirls create a sort of turbulent chaos, though in the midst of chaos there is a peacefulness as well. In the foreground there is a dark, gloomy figure in the shape of a spire. Before this assignment I didn’t know what this ominous figure was, but I learned that it is actually the silhouette of cypress trees. (Puchko, Kristy. "11 Things You Didn 't Know About Starry Night." Mental_floss. N.p., 7 April 2015. Web. 18 Sept. 2016.)
These massive cypress trees obstruct part ...


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...es sense to me that his depiction of the night sky was a result of him thinking about his own mortality and how it takes your own death to reach the stars. Many of his paintings depict stars.
It saddens me that it is such a common story that so many artists were never fully appreciated for their art while they were still alive. Vincent Van Gogh is inarguably one of the most famous and celebrated artists of all time, yet he never got to experience the sense of pride and accomplishment that comes from people appreciating your art. Today, over one hundred years after he painted The Starry Night, we are still captivated and moved by this timeless work of art. In the end, it doesn’t matter if Van Gogh felt The Starry Night a failure. Generations of people have and will continue to appreciate his work until the end of time. That is the mark of a true masterpiece.

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