What Is the Message of the Starry Night?

Describe a Painting

Level B1/B2

Hi, I’m Katia and I got a task to describe a painting.  Today I want to tell you about the wonderful painting “Starry Night” which belongs to the brush of Vincent van Gogh. Vincent van Gogh was a fascinating artist who became famous after he died. He was most famous for Starry Night, The Bedroom, Irises and Sunflowers.

The Starry Night is among the most popular paintings in the world. This is one of the brightest paintings of the master, thanks to which he created his famous brushstroke. 

The Starry Night was painted by Vincent Van Gogh in 1889. Although it is one of his most famous works, it was not recognized as a masterpiece during his lifetime. Van Gogh himself felt the painting was a failure. However, since it was purchased in 1941 by The Museum of Modern Art in New York City, it has become one of the most loved pieces of art of all time.

Vincent van Gogh was what we would call a little bit mad! Because of this he landed up staying in a mental hospital in France. While he was there he painted his most famous painting ‘The Starry Night’.

This artist was a post-impressionist. The genre of this painting is cityscape, depicting an incredible night sky over a sleepy town. This artist lived in the 19th century and worked in the style known as Impressionism and Post-Impressionism. The picture is painted in rich blue tones.  It follows the Post-Impressionist style, with its focus on nature depicted through color and light. It also includes symbolism that expresses the artist’s feelings toward the subject.

As the main elements of the landscape, the artist made large expressive stars and the moon with long strokes, thanks to which it seems that they are moving through the sky, carrying their amazing world through it. On the right, at the foot of the hill, Van Gogh depicted a small village. The roofs of the houses reflect the blue depth of the sky, and yellow lights can be seen here and there in the windows. In the foreground, the artist placed tall cypress trees, which stretch their thin branches to the sky. The night landscape carries endless mystery and inspiration. The aesthetics of The Starry Night are most evident in the sky. Van Gogh painted it with short, circular brushstrokes of vibrant blue. He used bright white and yellow for the circular stars. The brushstrokes are also evident in the large cypress tree, which has been described as flame-like.

In my opinion, this picture shows the writer’s memories. Many people believe The Starry Night is an expression of Van Gogh’s mental health. The vibrant blues are a common color during his bouts of mental illness. His fascination with stars, death, and transcendence are evident in the starry sky he painted. The Starry Night symbolizes Van Gogh’s deteriorating mental state. It also symbolizes his connection to nature and his interest in traveling to the stars through death.

Today, the painting is kept in the Museum of Modern Art in New York.