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The Starry Night

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Painting is an arty of creating an impression of culture and real life through abstract means of a drawing tool and a material like canvass.  One of the most prominent painters is Vincent van Gogh who painted The Starry Night.  The painting creates an impression of a starry night filled with luminous stars and the moon. The luminescence of the stars stand out as the sky has been pulled down closer to the sleeping town. Swirling clouds create the motion of movement in cycles with a bright crescent moon distinctly blazing with white and yellow light. The sky looks as if the night is a tranquil night with exception of the moving clouds that twirl across the sky creating a movement from the left to the right.

A tall tree at the foreground creates a scary ghostly like figurine twirling up like flames of fire, but now according to the painting black flames of fire seem to come out of the tree. In the far end of the town is a tall tower that takes after a thin but tall pyramid before a marsh of vegetation that recedes into a range of hills at the background. The hills progressively steep from the left side of the painting to the right side together with the cloud as if the hills are forcing the clouds to make move rightwards thus the hills seem to control the clouds movement. At the same time there are 12 luminous heavenly stars and one moon to emphasize the earthly characteristics of the painting.

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The sky is busy with the movements of the clouds that seem to distort the ever shining luminescent starts and moon. The moving clouds in the sky create an impression of chaos and confusion at the viewer, however, the stars penetrating yellow and warm lights counter the chaos effect by creating a peaceful and successful might view.  The center point of the painting is the church’s tall tower that clearly demonstrates the opulence of the town besides emphasizing the town’s religious function in aimed at underlining sense of spiritual attainment in the artist and within the town.

Color is the main aspect that is dominant in the painting. While blue is the main color of the sky, there is the use of white, black, shades of green, yellow, and orange within the painting. Shades of blue are used to create darkness thus rendering black color almost obsolete in order to create the effect of the stars and moon light in the town. The tree is painted in the color of black to detail darkness, green to give cypress it authentic color and dark red to enhance a ghostly appearance.  According to Richard Thomson the author of the book, Vincent Van Gogh: The starry night, the colorsyellow and orange accentuate the literal meaning of the starry night since the moon and stars are a source of light to the town below. Extensive use of Prussian blue and citron-yellow on the sky makes the sky more enjoyable to the viewer’s eye since these warm colors create a sense of security and self assurance.

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The pacifying nature of the painting is artistically attained by the use of color bright yellow and orange colors to create a warm and magnifying feeling. Conversely, had the painter used only blue and black to represent the sky and darkness, the painting could have looked quite grim and out of context in reference to its title as a starry night. Further, yellow allows the artists to illustrate the stars with such temerity of artistic skill and influence that automatically transforms the painting from a grim scene to rapturous moments of the night.  Von Gogh defines the night through colors as “the blue depth, the stars were sparkling, greenish, yellow, white, pink, more brilliant, more sparkling gemlike”.

Perspective is used to being into view the astronomical aspects of the painting. The viewers as well as the painter are looking at the northern sky from the southern point of view in manner that astronomically reveal that the painter was facing towards the North East direction from a point in the south since the moon is tilted in a way. The cypress tree that acts like the ominous and ghostly object because of the black color used acts as a point of reference to determine the direction of the stars. Imagining that the tree paints into a true North direction perceptively, the bright star to the east must be Venus the brightest sky body. The rest of the stars would represent the astronomy of the Northern Cross collection of stars. The arrangement of color and line across the sky enhances the creation of movements. At the starts core, the painter used circular lines and shapes that are painted deeply in yellow in order to create alternating yellow and white colors that represents the sparkling stars. 

Line is extensively used to create wavy movement and hallucinatory scenes in the painting (Boime 3). Wavy lines are lengthily used in the clouds and in the creation of the cypress tree. A closer look at the sky at it crosses the cypress tree reveals that wavy lines move from the left to the right through a complete cycle creating a trough and a peak. After the peak, the lines curve underneath the peak’s trough in a circular and spiral movement that creates a sense of high speeding winds that calm down and terminate underneath the same curves in a flipping clockwise manner as if a the mystical wind was acting on the clouds. The movement of lines strokes that create the wind is from east to west before turning back in a spiral back into the east before terminating while facing towards the stars. A water-like front of wind clouds moves in a wavy line all through the lower atmosphere just after the hills. The line is used to render the hills a dimensional perspective. While the heavens are covered by the wavy lines, town’s structures are predominantly straight lines that form triangles as roofs of houses.  

In conclusion, the line, perspective, shape and color artistic features of the painting create a momentum of astronomical hallucinations that are countered by use of yellow, blue and orange sparkling luminous stars that create a feeling of magnificent study of a happy and mystical happening in the skies and equally on the town. The painting is romanticized by the starry sky.

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