The Starry Night essay

The Starry Night is one of the most well-known paintings of the post-impressionist painter Van Gogh. This picture is one of most famous pieces of art the in the modern culture. The artist made it in July 1889 when he was in the Saint-Paul-de-Mausole lunatic asylum. The current essay describes the art methods that distinguish The Starry Night by Van Gogh and illustrates the relationship between the artistic and the spiritual perspectives of the painter.

Firstly, one should mention that Van Gogh wants to depict the eternity of the life motion by illustrating nature in the picture The Starry Night. In this nocturne, the painter chooses to depict a landscape, where the sky is much bigger than the village that lies under it. It means that the theme of this image is to highlight the untouched nature, not the human activity. Considering the picture, one may underline that the author shows the sky that seems to be moving. Van Gogh depicts the swirling clouds that cover the sky, the stars and the Moon that are considerably bigger than the usually painted ones. The halos of light surround then; thus, they seem to shine brightly on the background of the blue ever-moving clouds. Nevertheless, to balance the unequal division of the picture plane into the ground and the sky, the painter uses the cypress on the forehead of the image. It means that the depiction of nature predominates in this painting. Thus, one can state that Van Gogh shows the essence of life motion with the help of the eternity of nature.

 

Moreover, the painter uses vivid and rich colors to transmit his perception of the nocturne. Van Gogh tends to depict nighttime using unmixed colors. The thing is that the artist does not apply shaded colors either. Considering the painting, one may mention that the artist does not perceive the night as an impenetrable darkness. He presents a considerably “light” nocturne. Moreover, Van Gogh divides the sky from the earth by using white and blue colors in the place where it reaches the ground. What is more, the painter applies different tones of the blue color, not the black one to present the night sky. However, he does not mix the tones, leaving all the shades to be independent of each other, and at the same time, be the components of the night sky unity. Moreover, to highlight the stars and the Moon, the painter takes yellow and white colors. The brightness of the colors applied is also visible in the light of the stars and the Moon in particular. The artist uses a big amount of the pure yellow color to depict the Moon. The night village, the trees, and the hills are also presented by almost the same colors that characterize these objects in the daytime. It means that only the intensity of the colors used to depict them is changed. Moreover, the cypress in the forehead of the painting is a dark object, but the painter uses deep green colors not mixing them.

Besides, the artist does not illustrate the details of the objects to present not their peculiarities, but their “soul”. He emphasizes the shapes but not the details of the picture components, using peculiar brushstrokes and thick paint application. It helps to present the general atmosphere and depict the motion of his picture The Starry Night. Being a representative of the Post-impressionism, Van Gogh rejects to describe the objects of his painting in a detailed way. Thus, one may say that the author’s aim is to transmit the aura of the nocturne, but not the small details of the nature of the landscape. For this reason, the artist uses countless short brushstrokes. Applying this technique, he creates the impression of the individuality of the each component of the picture. Moreover, the painter manages to describe the swings of cypress and the clouds, the far-reaching lightness of the stars and the Moon with the help of the brush strokes. It is also essential to consider the fact that Van Gogh prefers thickly applied paints. This technique allows emphasizing the physical presentation of the color and helps create the impression of the relief on the canvas. The thick application of the oil paints aids the artist illustrate the speed of the motion of the clouds in the painting. Thus, it transmits the aura of the depicted nocturne. Undoubtedly, the complexity of the techniques used illustrates the unquestionable value of this work of art and distinguishes it from the others. Thus, having finished with the discussion of Van Gog’s art methods, one should consider the relationship between the artistic and the spiritual perspectives of the painter.

It is a well-known fact that art is the representation of the inner world of the artist. Thus, one may deduce that this definition implies transmitting of the conceptual, esthetic, and the spiritual perception of the epoch he/she lives. Thus, the artistic and the spiritual attitudes of the artist are interrelated. Taking into consideration the art methods that were discussed above, one may notice the relation between Van Gogh’s artistic and spiritual retrospectives. The thing is the painter is a representative of Post-Impressionism, and, consequently, he reflects the epoch according to the peculiarities of this movement.

Van Gogh depicts the landscape in The Starry Night omitting details of the picture components, focusing on the bright colors, and its physical presentation by paints. Firstly, the artists of the late 19th century tend to oppose nature to the industrial development. Moreover, the painters search for the new ideas to depict the essence, but not the appearance of the things around them. Therefore, post-impressionists reject the detailed way of presenting the things they depict. Van Gogh’s The Starry Night illustrates eternity of the surrounding world by illustrating a landscape in general shapes and limiting the presence of human activity in the picture.

Next, the post-impressionists prefer the usage of the bright colors to the shaded ones. Moreover, they apply individual techniques of painting to show their perception of the surrounding world. Thus, one can conclude that Van Gogh’s usage of the bright palette in the image The Starry Night points at the spiritual context of this work of art. Furthermore, the innovative means of the art reflection are one more specific feature of the movement. The thing is that the artist’s depiction of the eternal movement by using short strokes and the thick application of paint are the new techniques presented by the painter. Therefore, it is appropriate to state that there is a considerable spiritual background in this masterpiece.

Summing up, The Starry Night is a nocturne that was created by Van Gogh in 1889. This painting presents the author’s inner world and at the same time, it shows the perception of the art of the epoch he lived. Thus, one may mention that this masterpiece shows the connection between the artistic and spiritual perspectives of the painter. He achieves his effect through the adherence to the subject of the description, the colors and the unique technique of painting applied. Being a representative of Post-impressionism, Van Gogh is inspired by nature and the new way of its representation. He prefers landscapes to townscapes to resist the industrial development. Furthermore, Van Gogh omits the details of his work to present not its peculiarities, but the essence. The genuine painter, being influenced by Post-Impressionism, uses vivid colors to depict his way of understanding nature of the night. He also prefers using such specific manner of painting as short brushstrokes and thick application of paint.

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The Starry Night essay

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