The Starry Night

The Starry Night is an oil on canvas by the Dutch post-impressionist painter Vincent van Gogh. Painted in June 1889, it describes the view from the east-facing window of his asylum room at Saint-Rémy-de-Provence, just before sunrise, with the addition of an ideal village.[1][2][3] It has been in the permanent collection of the Museum of Modern Art in New York City since 1941, acquired through the Lillie P. Bliss Bequest. Regarded as among Van Gogh's finest works,[4] The Starry Night is one of the most recognized paintings in the history of Western culture.[5][6]

The Starry Night
A painting of a scene at night with 10 swirly stars, Venus, and a bright yellow crescent Moon. In the background there are hills, in the middle ground there is a moonlit town with a church that has an elongated steeple, and in the foreground there is the dark green silhouette of a cypress tree and houses.
ArtistVincent van Gogh
MediumOil on canvas
Dimensions73.7 cm × 92.1 cm (28.7 in × ​36 14 in)
LocationMuseum of Modern Art, New York City

The asylum

Chevet de Saint-Paul de Mausole
The Monastery of Saint-Paul de Mausole

In the aftermath of the 23 December 1888 breakdown that resulted in the self-mutilation of his left ear,[7][8] Van Gogh voluntarily admitted himself to the Saint-Paul-de-Mausole lunatic asylum on 8 May 1889.[9][10] Housed in a former monastery, Saint-Paul-de-Mausole catered to the wealthy and was less than half full when Van Gogh arrived,[11] allowing him to occupy not only a second-story bedroom but also a ground-floor room for use as a painting studio.[12]

During the year Van Gogh stayed at the asylum, the prolific output of paintings he had begun in Arles continued.[13] During this period, he produced some of the best-known works of his career, including the Irises from May 1889, now in the J. Paul Getty Museum, and the blue self-portrait from September, 1889, in the Musée d'Orsay. The Starry Night was painted mid-June by around 18 June, the date he wrote to his brother Theo to say he had a new study of a starry sky.[1][14][15][L 1]

The painting

Although The Starry Night was painted during the day in Van Gogh's ground-floor studio, it would be inaccurate to state that the picture was painted from memory. The view has been identified as the one from his bedroom window, facing east,[1][2][16][17] a view which Van Gogh painted variations of no fewer than twenty-one times, including The Starry Night. "Through the iron-barred window," he wrote to his brother, Theo, around 23 May 1889, "I can see an enclosed square of wheat . . . above which, in the morning, I watch the sun rise in all its glory."[2][L 2]

Van Gogh depicted the view at different times of day and under various weather conditions, including sunrise, moonrise, sunshine-filled days, overcast days, windy days, and one day with rain. While the hospital staff did not allow Van Gogh to paint in his bedroom, he was able there to make sketches in ink or charcoal on paper; eventually he would base newer variations on previous versions. The pictorial element uniting all of these paintings is the diagonal line coming in from the right depicting the low rolling hills of the Alpilles mountains. In fifteen of the twenty-one versions, cypress trees are visible beyond the far wall enclosing the wheat field. Van Gogh telescoped the view in six of these paintings, most notably in F717 Wheat Field with Cypresses and The Starry Night, bringing the trees closer to the picture plane.

One of the first paintings of the view was F611 Mountainous Landscape Behind Saint-Rémy, now in Copenhagen. Van Gogh made a number of sketches for the painting, of which F1547 The Enclosed Wheatfield After a Storm is typical. It is unclear whether the painting was made in his studio or outside. In his June 9 letter describing it, he mentions he had been working outside for a few days.[18][19][L 3][14] Van Gogh described the second of the two landscapes he mentions he was working on, in a letter to his sister Wil on 16 June 1889.[18][L 4] This is F719 Green Field, now in Prague, and the first painting at the asylum he definitely painted outside en plein air.[18] F1548 Wheat field, Saint-Rémy de Provence, now in New York, is a study for it. Two days later, Vincent wrote Theo that he had painted "a starry sky".[20][L 1]

The Starry Night is the only nocturne in the series of views from his bedroom window. In early June, Vincent wrote to Theo, "This morning I saw the countryside from my window a long time before sunrise with nothing but the morning star, which looked very big"[L 5] Researchers have determined that Venus was indeed visible at dawn in Provence in the spring of 1889, and was at that time nearly as bright as possible. So the brightest "star" in the painting, just to the viewer's right of the cypress tree, is actually Venus.[14][16]

The Moon is stylized, as astronomical records indicate that it actually was waning gibbous at the time Van Gogh painted the picture,[14] and even if the phase of the Moon had been its waning crescent at the time, Van Gogh's Moon would not have been astronomically correct. (For other interpretations of the Moon, see below.) The one pictorial element that was definitely not visible from Van Gogh's cell is the village,[21] which is based on a sketch F1541v made from a hillside above the village of Saint-Rémy.[3] Pickvance thought F1541v was done later, and the steeple more Dutch than Provençal, a conflation of several Van Gogh had painted and drawn in his Nuenen period, and thus the first of his "reminisces of the North" he was to paint and draw early the following year.[1] Hulsker thought a landscape on the reverse F1541r was also a study for the painting.[22]

Vincent van Gogh - Wheatfield, Saint-Rémy de Provence - F1548 JH1726

F1548 Wheatfield, Saint-Rémy de Provence, Morgan Library & Museum

Vincent van Gogh - Green Field - Google Art Project

F719 Green Field, National Gallery in Prague

Vincent van Gogh - The Enclosed Wheatfield After a Storm F1547 JH1724

F1547 The Enclosed Wheatfield After a Storm, Van Gogh Museum

Vincent van Gogh - Landscape from Saint-Rémy - Google Art Project

F611 Mountainous Landscape Behind Saint-Rémy, Ny Carlsberg Glyptotek

Vincent van Gogh - Bird's-Eye View of the Village F1541v JH1729

F1541v Bird's-Eye View of the Village, Van Gogh Museum

Vincent van Gogh - Landscape with Cypresses F1541r JH 1730

F1541r Landscape with Cypresses, Van Gogh Museum


Despite the large number of letters Van Gogh wrote, he said very little about The Starry Night.[1] After reporting that he had painted a starry sky in June, Van Gogh next mentioned the painting in a letter to Theo on or about 20 September 1889, when he included it in a list of paintings he was sending to his brother in Paris, referring to it as a "night study."[23] Of this list of paintings, he wrote, "All in all the only things I consider a little good in it are the Wheatfield, the Mountain, the Orchard, the Olive trees with the blue hills and the Portrait and the Entrance to the quarry, and the rest says nothing to me"; "the rest" would include The Starry Night. When he decided to hold back three paintings from this batch in order to save money on postage, The Starry Night was one of the paintings he didn't send.[24] Finally, in a letter to painter Émile Bernard from late November 1889, Van Gogh referred to the painting as a "failure."[25]

Van Gogh argued with Bernard and, especially, Paul Gauguin as to whether one should paint from nature, as Van Gogh preferred,[26] or paint what Gauguin called "abstractions":[27] paintings conceived in the imagination, or de tête.[28] In the letter to Bernard, Van Gogh recounted his experiences when Gauguin lived with him for nine weeks in the fall and winter of 1888: "When Gauguin was in Arles, I once or twice allowed myself to be led astray into abstraction, as you know. . . . But that was delusion, dear friend, and one soon comes up against a brick wall. . . . And yet, once again I allowed myself to be led astray into reaching for stars that are too big—another failure—and I have had my fill of that."[29] Van Gogh here is referring to the expressionistic swirls which dominate the upper center portion of The Starry Night.[30]

Theo referred to these pictorial elements in a letter to Vincent dated 22 October 1889: "I clearly sense what preoccupies you in the new canvases like the village in the moonlight [The Starry Night] or the mountains, but I feel that the search for style takes away the real sentiment of things."[25] Vincent responded in early November, "Despite what you say in your previous letter, that the search for style often harms other qualities, the fact is that I feel myself greatly driven to seek style, if you like, but I mean by that a more manly and more deliberate drawing. If that will make me more like Bernard or Gauguin, I can't do anything about it. But am inclined to believe that in the long run you'd get used to it." And later in the same letter, he wrote, "I know very well that the studies drawn with long, sinuous lines from the last consignment weren't what they ought to become, however I dare urge you to believe that in landscapes one will continue to mass things by means of a drawing style that seeks to express the entanglement of the masses."[31]

But although Van Gogh periodically defended the practices of Gauguin and Bernard, each time he inevitably repudiated them[32] and continued with his preferred method of painting from nature.[33] Like the impressionists he had met in Paris, especially Claude Monet, Van Gogh also favored working in series. He had painted his series of sunflowers in Arles, and he painted the series of cypresses and wheat fields at Saint-Rémy. The Starry Night belongs to this latter series,[34] as well as to a small series of nocturnes he initiated in Arles.

Starry Night Over the Rhone
Van Gogh's Starry Night Over the Rhône, 1888, oil on canvas

The nocturne series was limited by the difficulties posed by painting such scenes from nature, i.e., at night.[35] The first painting in the series was Café Terrace at Night, painted in Arles in early September 1888, followed by Starry Night Over the Rhone later that same month. Van Gogh's written statements concerning these paintings provide further insight into his intentions for painting night studies in general and The Starry Night in particular.

Soon after his arrival in Arles in February 1888, Van Gogh wrote to Theo, "I . . . need a starry night with cypresses or—perhaps above a field of ripe wheat; there are some really beautiful nights here." That same week, he wrote to Bernard, "A starry sky is something I should like to try to do, just as in the daytime I am going to try to paint a green meadow spangled with dandelions."[36] He compared the stars to dots on a map and mused that, as one takes a train to travel on Earth, "we take death to reach a star."[37] Although at this point in his life Van Gogh was disillusioned by religion,[38][39] he appears not to have lost his belief in an afterlife. He voiced this ambivalence in a letter to Theo after having painted Starry Night Over the Rhone, confessing to a "tremendous need for, shall I say the word—for religion—so I go outside at night to paint the stars."[40]

He wrote about existing in another dimension after death and associated this dimension with the night sky. "It would be so simple and would account so much for the terrible things in life, which now amaze and wound us so, if life had yet another hemisphere, invisible it is true, but where one lands when one dies."[41] "Hope is in the stars," he wrote, but he was quick to point out that "earth is a planet too, and consequently a star, or celestial orb."[36] And he stated flatly that The Starry Night was "not a return to the romantic or to religious ideas."[42]

Noted art historian Meyer Schapiro highlights the expressionistic aspects of The Starry Night, saying it was created under the "pressure of feeling" and that it is a "visionary [painting] inspired by a religious mood."[43] Schapiro theorizes that the "hidden content"[43] of the work makes reference to the New Testament book of Revelation, revealing an "apocalyptic theme of the woman in pain of birth, girded with the sun and moon and crowned with stars, whose newborn child is threatened by the dragon."[44] (Schapiro, in the same volume, also professes to see an image of a mother and child in the clouds in Landscape with Olive Trees,[45] painted at the same time and often regarded as a pendant to The Starry Night.)[46]

Art historian Sven Loevgren expands on Schapiro's approach, again calling The Starry Night a "visionary painting" which "was conceived in a state of great agitation."[47] He writes of the "hallucinatory character of the painting and its violently expressive form," although he takes pains to note that the painting was not executed during one of Van Gogh's incapacitating breakdowns.[48] Loevgren compares Van Gogh's "religiously inclined longing for the beyond" to the poetry of Walt Whitman.[49] He calls The Starry Night "an infinitely expressive picture which symbolizes the final absorption of the artist by the cosmos" and which "gives a never-to-be-forgotten sensation of standing on the threshold of eternity."[50] Loevgren praises Schapiro's "eloquent interpretation" of the painting as an apocalyptic vision[51] and advances his own symbolist theory with reference to the eleven stars in one of Joseph's dreams in the Old Testament book of Genesis.[52] Loevgren asserts that the pictorial elements of The Starry Night "are visualized in purely symbolic terms" and notes that "the cypress is the tree of death in the Mediterranean countries."[53]

Van Gogh Starry Night Drawing
The drawing Cypresses in Starry Night, a reed pen copy executed by Van Gogh after the painting in 1889. Originally held at Kunsthalle Bremen, today part of the disputed Baldin Collection.[54][55]

Art historian Lauren Soth also finds a symbolist subtext in The Starry Night, saying that the painting is a "traditional religious subject in disguise"[56] and a "sublimated image of [Van Gogh's] deepest religious feelings."[57] Citing Van Gogh's avowed admiration for the paintings of Eugène Delacroix, and especially the earlier painter's use of Prussian blue and citron yellow in paintings of Christ, Soth theorizes that Van Gogh used these colors to represent Christ in The Starry Night.[58] He criticizes Schapiro's and Loevgren's biblical interpretations, dependent as they are on a reading of the crescent moon as incorporating elements of the Sun. He says it is merely a crescent moon, which, he writes, also had symbolic meaning for Van Gogh, representing "consolation."[59]

It is in light of such symbolist interpretations of The Starry Night that art historian Albert Boime presents his study of the painting. As noted above, Boime has proven that the painting depicts not only the topographical elements of Van Gogh's view from his asylum window but also the celestial elements, identifying not only Venus but also the constellation Aries.[16] He suggests that Van Gogh originally intended to paint a gibbous Moon but "reverted to a more traditional image" of the crescent moon, and theorizes that the bright aureole around the resulting crescent is a remnant of the original gibbous version.[21] He recounts Van Gogh's interest in the writings of Victor Hugo and Jules Verne as possible inspiration for his belief in an afterlife on stars or planets.[60] And he provides a detailed discussion of the well-publicized advances in astronomy that took place during Van Gogh's lifetime.

Boime asserts that while Van Gogh never mentioned astronomer Camille Flammarion in his letters,[61] he believes that Van Gogh must have been aware of Flammarion's popular illustrated publications, which included drawings of spiral nebulae (as galaxies were then called) as seen and photographed through telescopes. Boime interprets the swirling figure in the central portion of the sky in The Starry Night to represent either a spiral galaxy or a comet, photographs of which had also been published in popular media.[21] He asserts that the only non-realistic elements of the painting are the village and the swirls in the sky. These swirls represent Van Gogh's understanding of the cosmos as a living, dynamic place.[62]

Harvard astronomer Charles A. Whitney conducted his own astronomical study of The Starry Night contemporaneously with but independent of Boime (who spent almost his entire career at U.C.L.A.).[63] While Whitney does not share Boime's certainty with regard to the constellation Aries,[64] he concurs with Boime on the visibility of Venus in Provence at the time the painting was executed.[14] He also sees the depiction of a spiral galaxy in the sky, although he gives credit for the original to Anglo-Irish astronomer William Parsons, Lord Rosse, whose work Flammarion reproduced.[65]

Sketch of the Whirlpool Galaxy by Lord Rosse in 1845, 44 years before Van Gogh's painting

Whitney also theorizes that the swirls in the sky could represent wind, evoking the mistral that had such a profound effect on Van Gogh during the twenty-seven months he spent in Provence.[17] (It was the mistral which triggered his first breakdown after entering the asylum, in July 1889, less than a month after painting The Starry Night.)[66] Boime theorizes that the lighter shades of blue just above the horizon show the first light of morning.[21]

The village has been variously identified as either a recollection of Van Gogh's Dutch homeland,[1][67] or based on a sketch he made of the town of Saint-Rémy.[3][21] In either case, it is an imaginary component of the picture, not visible from the window of the asylum bedroom.

Cypress trees have long been associated with death in European culture, though the question of whether Van Gogh intended for them to have such a symbolic meaning in The Starry Night is the subject of an open debate. In an April 1888, letter to Bernard, Van Gogh referred to "funereal cypresses,"[68] though this is possibly similar to saying "stately oaks" or "weeping willows." One week after painting The Starry Night, he wrote to his brother Theo, "The cypresses are always occupying my thoughts. I should like to make something of them like the canvases of the sunflowers, because it astonishes me that they have not yet been done as I see them."[69] In the same letter he mentioned "two studies of cypresses of that difficult shade of bottle green."[70] These statements suggest that Van Gogh was interested in the trees more for their formal qualities than for their symbolic connotation.

Schapiro refers to the cypress in the painting as a "vague symbol of a human striving."[43] Boime calls it the "symbolic counterpart of Van Gogh's own striving for the Infinite through non-orthodox channels."[61] Art historian Vojtech Jirat-Wasiutynski says that for Van Gogh the cypresses "function as rustic and natural obelisks" providing a "link between the heavens and the earth."[71] (Some commentators see one tree, others see two or more.) Loevgren reminds the reader that "the cypress is the tree of death in the Mediterranean countries."[53]

Art historian Ronald Pickvance says that with "its arbitrary collage of separate motifs," The Starry Night "is overtly stamped as an 'abstraction'."[72] Pickvance claims that cypress trees were not visible facing east from Van Gogh's room, and he includes them with the village and the swirls in the sky as products of Van Gogh's imagination.[1] Boime asserts that the cypresses were visible in the east,[16] as does Jirat-Wasiutyński.[73] Van Gogh biographers Steven Naifeh and Gregory White Smith concur, saying that Van Gogh "telescoped" the view in certain of the pictures of the view from his window,[20] and it stands to reason that Van Gogh would do this in a painting featuring the morning star. Such a compression of depth serves to enhance the brightness of planet.

Soth uses Van Gogh's statement to his brother, that The Starry Night is "an exaggeration from the point of view of arrangement" to further his argument that the painting is "an amalgam of images."[74] However, it is by no means certain that Van Gogh was using "arrangement" as a synonym for "composition." Van Gogh was, in fact, speaking of three paintings, one of which was The Starry Night, when he made this comment: "The olive trees with white cloud and background of mountains, as well as the Moonrise and the Night effect," as he called it, "these are exaggerations from the point of view of the arrangement, their lines are contorted like those of the ancient woodcuts." The first two pictures are universally acknowledged to be realistic, non-composite views of their subjects. What the three pictures do have in common is exaggerated color and brushwork of the type that Theo referred to when he criticized Van Gogh for his "search for style [that] takes away the real sentiment of things" in The Starry Night.

On two other occasions around this time, Van Gogh used the word "arrangement" to refer to color, similar to the way James Abbott McNeill Whistler used the term. In a letter to Gauguin in January 1889, he wrote, "As an arrangement of colours: the reds moving through to pure oranges, intensifying even more in the flesh tones up to the chromes, passing into the pinks and marrying with the olive and Veronese greens. As an impressionist arrangement of colours, I’ve never devised anything better."[75] (The painting he is referring to is La Berceuse, which is a realistic portrait of Augustine Roulin with an imaginative floral background.) And to Bernard in late November 1889: "But this is enough for you to understand that I would long to see things of yours again, like the painting of yours that Gauguin has, those Breton women walking in a meadow, the arrangement of which is so beautiful, the colour so naively distinguished. Ah, you’re exchanging that for something — must one say the word — something artificial — something affected."[76][77]

When Van Gogh calls The Starry Night a failure for being an "abstraction," he places the blame on his having painted "stars that are too big."

While stopping short of calling the painting a hallucinatory vision, Naifeh and Smith discuss The Starry Night in the context of Van Gogh's mental illness, which they identify as temporal lobe epilepsy, or latent epilepsy.[78] "Not the kind," they write, "known since antiquity, that caused the limbs to jerk and the body to collapse ('the falling sickness', as it was sometimes called), but a mental epilepsy—a seizing up of the mind: a collapse of thought, perception, reason, and emotion that manifested itself entirely in the brain and often prompted bizarre, dramatic behavior."[79] Symptoms of the seizures "resembled fireworks of electrical impulses in the brain."[30]

Van Gogh experienced his second breakdown in seven months in July 1889.[66] Naifeh and Smith theorize that the seeds of this breakdown were present when Van Gogh painted The Starry Night, that in giving himself over to his imagination "his defenses had been breached."[80] On that day in mid-June, in a "state of heightened reality," with all the other elements of the painting in place,[81] Van Gogh threw himself into the painting of the stars, producing, they write, "a night sky unlike any other the world had ever seen with ordinary eyes."[30]


After having initially held it back, Van Gogh sent The Starry Night to Theo in Paris on 28 September 1889, along with nine or ten other paintings.[24][72] Theo died less than six months after Vincent, in January 1891. Theo's widow, Jo, then became the caretaker of Van Gogh's legacy. She sold the painting to poet Julien Leclercq in Paris in 1900, who turned around and sold it to Émile Schuffenecker, Gauguin's old friend, in 1901. Jo then bought the painting back from Schuffenecker before selling it to the Oldenzeel Gallery in Rotterdam in 1906. From 1906 to 1938 it was owned by Georgette P. van Stolk, of Rotterdam, who sold it to Paul Rosenberg, of Paris and New York. It was through Rosenberg that the Museum of Modern Art acquired the painting in 1941.[82]

Painting materials

The painting was investigated by the scientists at the Rochester Institute of Technology and the Museum of Modern Art in New York.[83] The pigment analysis has shown that the sky was painted with ultramarine and cobalt blue and for the stars and the Moon van Gogh employed the rare pigment indian yellow together with zinc yellow.[84]

Detail Nuit Etoilée Van Gogh


Starry night Van Gogh detail 2


Starry night Van Gogh detail hills

Hills and sky.

Starry night Van Gogh details left part of canevas

Left part of the canvas and frame.

The Starry night by Van Gogh, detail of the sky

Stars in the sky.

See also


  1. ^ a b c d e f g Pickvance 1986, p. 103
  2. ^ a b c Naifeh & Smith 2011, p. 747
  3. ^ a b c Naifeh & Smith 2011, p. 760
  4. ^ "Vincent van Gogh Biography, Art, and Analysis of Works". The Art Story. Retrieved 12 June 2015. Starry Night is often considered to be Van Gogh's pinnacle achievement.
  5. ^ Moyer, Edward (14 February 2012). "Interactive canvas lets viewers stir Van Gogh's 'Starry Night'". CNET News. Retrieved 12 June 2015. of the West's most iconic paintings: Vincent van Gogh's 'The Starry Night.'
  6. ^ Kim, Hannah (27 May 2010). "Vincent van Gogh's The Starry Night, now pocket-sized!". MoMA. Retrieved 12 June 2015. Instantly recognizable and an iconic image in our culture, Vincent van Gogh’s The Starry Night is a touchstone of modern art and one of the most beloved works...
  7. ^ Naifeh & Smith 2011, pp. 701–7
  8. ^ Pickvance 1984, p. 159
  9. ^ Naifeh & Smith 2011, pp. 741–3
  10. ^ Pickvance 1986, pp. 25–6
  11. ^ Naifeh & Smith 2011, p. 746
  12. ^ Naifeh & Smith 2011, p. 754
  13. ^ Naifeh & Smith 2011, pp. 592, 778
  14. ^ a b c d e Whitney 1986, p. 356
  15. ^ Naifeh & Smith 2011, pp. 759–61
  16. ^ a b c d Boime 1984, p. 88
  17. ^ a b Whitney 1986, p. 358
  18. ^ a b c Hulsker 1986, p. 394
  19. ^ Pickvance 1986, p. 93
  20. ^ a b Naifeh & Smith 2011, p. 759
  21. ^ a b c d e Boime 1984, p. 89
  22. ^ Hulsker 1986, p. 396
  23. ^ Van Gogh Letters Project, no. 805
  24. ^ a b Van Gogh Letters Project, no. 806
  25. ^ a b Naifeh & Smith 2011, p. 784
  26. ^ Naifeh & Smith 2011, p. 755
  27. ^ Naifeh & Smith 2011, p. 625n
  28. ^ Naifeh & Smith 2011, p. 674
  29. ^ de Leeuw, Ronald (ed.) (1996). The Letters of Vincent van Gogh. London: Penguin Books. p. 469. ISBN 978-0-140-44674-6.CS1 maint: Extra text: authors list (link)
  30. ^ a b c Naifeh & Smith 2011, p. 762
  31. ^ Van Gogh Letters Project, no. 816
  32. ^ Naifeh & Smith 2011, pp. 626, 680
  33. ^ Naifeh & Smith 2011, p. 778
  34. ^ Schapiro, Meyer (1950). Vincent van Gogh. New York: H. N. Abrams. p. 110.
  35. ^ Naifeh & Smith 2011, p. 650
  36. ^ a b Naifeh & Smith 2011, p. 649
  37. ^ Naifeh & Smith 2011, p. 611
  38. ^ Soth 1986, p. 301
  39. ^ Naifeh & Smith 2011, p. 766
  40. ^ Naifeh & Smith 2011, p. 651
  41. ^ Naifeh & Smith 2011, p. 858n
  42. ^ Naifeh & Smith 2011, p. 767
  43. ^ a b c Schapiro, p. 100
  44. ^ Schapiro, p. 33
  45. ^ Schapiro, p. 108
  46. ^ Pickvance 1986, p. 101
  47. ^ Loevgren 1971, p. 172
  48. ^ Loevgren 1971, pp. 172–73
  49. ^ Loevgren 1971, p. 181
  50. ^ Loevgren 1971, p. 182
  51. ^ Loevgren 1971, p. 183
  52. ^ Loevgren 1971, p. 186
  53. ^ a b Loevgren 1971, p. 184
  54. ^ The Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute: Cypresses in Starry Night Archived 10 January 2013 at in the Lost Art digital collection. Retrieved 3 June 2012.
  55. ^ Richard Boudreaux: "Ex-Soviet Officer Tried to Return Art Found in Cellar", Los Angeles Times 20 March 1995, retrieved 3 June 2012.
  56. ^ Soth 1986, p. 308
  57. ^ Soth 1986, p. 312
  58. ^ Soth 1986, p. 307
  59. ^ Soth 1986, p. 309
  60. ^ Boime 1984, p. 95
  61. ^ a b Boime 1984, p. 96
  62. ^ Boime 1984, p. 92
  63. ^ Rourke, Mary. "Art historian viewed works from social, political standpoints". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 16 August 2014.
  64. ^ Whitney 1986, p. 352
  65. ^ Whitney 1986, p. 351
  66. ^ a b Naifeh & Smith 2011, p. 771
  67. ^ Schapiro, p. 34
  68. ^ Pickvance 1984, p. 181
  69. ^ Naifeh & Smith 2011, p. 758
  70. ^ Van Gogh Letters Project, no. 783
  71. ^ Jirat-Wasiutynski, p. 657
  72. ^ a b Pickvance 1986, p. 106
  73. ^ Jirat-Wasiutynski, p. 667
  74. ^ Soth 1986, p. 305
  75. ^ Van Gogh Letters Project, no. 739
  76. ^ Van Gogh Letters Project, no. 822
  77. ^ Naifeh & Smith 2011, p. 675
  78. ^ Naifeh & Smith 2011, pp. 762–763
  79. ^ Naifeh & Smith 2011, p. 749; emphasis in the original
  80. ^ Naifeh & Smith 2011, p. 763
  81. ^ Naifeh & Smith 2011, p. 761
  82. ^ "The Provenance Research Project". Museum of Modern Art. Retrieved 16 August 2014.
  83. ^ Yonghui Zhao, Roy S. Berns, Lawrence A. Taplin, James Coddington, An Investigation of Multispectral Imaging for the Mapping of Pigments in Paintings, in Proc. SPIE 6810, Computer Image Analysis in the Study of Art, 681007 (29 February 2008)
  84. ^ Van Gogh, The Starry Night, illustrated pigment analysis, ColourLex
  1. ^ a b "Letter 782:To Theo van Gogh. Saint-Rémy-de-Provence, on or about Tuesday, 18 June 1889". Vincent van Gogh: The Letters. Van Gogh Museum. 1v:2. At last I have a landscape with olive trees, and also a new study of a starry sky.
  2. ^ "Letter 776: To Theo van Gogh. Saint-Rémy-de-Provence, on or about Thursday, 23 May 1889". Vincent van Gogh: The Letters. Van Gogh Museum. 1v:2. Through the iron-barred window I can make out a square of wheat in an enclosure, a perspective in the manner of Van Goyen, above which in the morning I see the sun rise in its glory.
  3. ^ "Letter 779: To Theo van Gogh. Saint-Rémy-de-Provence, Sunday, 9 June 1889". Vincent van Gogh: The Letters. Van Gogh Museum. 1v:2. ... for a few days now I’ve been going outside to work in the neighbourhood... One is the countryside that I glimpse from the window of my bedroom. In the foreground a field of wheat, ravaged and knocked to the ground after a storm. A boundary wall and beyond, grey foliage of a few olive trees, huts and hills. Finally, at the top of the painting a large white and grey cloud swamped by the azure. It’s a landscape of extreme simplicity — in terms of coloration as well.
  4. ^ "Letter 780: To Willemien van Gogh. Saint-Rémy-de-Provence, Sunday, 16 June 1889". Vincent van Gogh: The Letters. Van Gogh Museum. 1r:1. Then yet another that depicts a field of yellowing wheat surrounded by brambles and green bushes. At the end of the field a little pink house with a tall and dark cypress tree that stands out against the distant purplish and bluish hills, and against a forget-me-not blue sky streaked with pink whose pure tones contrast with the already heavy, scorched ears, whose tones are as warm as the crust of a loaf of bread.
  5. ^ "Letter 777: To Theo van Gogh. Saint-Rémy-de-Provence, between about Friday, 31 May and about Thursday, 6 June 1889". Vincent van Gogh: The Letters. Van Gogh Museum. 1v:2. This morning I saw the countryside from my window a long time before sunrise with nothing but the morning star, which looked very big.
  • Boime, Albert (December 1984). "Van Gogh's Starry Night: A History of Matter and a Matter of History" (PDF). Arts Magazine. 59 (4): 86–103.
  • De La Faille, Jacob Baart (1970). The works of Vincent van Gogh (3rd ed.). Amsterdam: Meulenhoff.
  • Ives, Colta; Stein, Susan Alyson; van Heugten, Sjraar; Vellekoop, Marije (2005). Vincent Van Gogh: The Drawings. New York: Metropolitan Museum of Art. ISBN 978-1588391650.
  • Hulsker, Jan (1986). The Complete Van Gogh: Paintings, Drawings, Sketches. New York, NY: Harrison House/Harry N. Abrams Distributed by Crown Publishers, Random House. ISBN 0-517-44867-X.
  • Jirat-Wasiutynski, Vojtech (December 1993). "Vincent van Gogh's Paintings of Olive Trees and Cypresses from St.-Remy". Art Bulletin. 75 (4). JSTOR 3045988.
  • Loevgren, Sven (1971). The Genesis of Modernism: Seurat, Gauguin, Van Gogh, and French Symbolism in the 1880s. Bloomington: Indiana University Press. ISBN 978-0253325600.
  • Naifeh, Steven and Gregory White Smith (2011). Van Gogh: The Life. New York: Random House. ISBN 978-0-375-50748-9.
  • Pickvance, Ronald (1984). Van Gogh in Arles. New York: Metropolitan Museum of Art. ISBN 0-87099-376-3.
  • Pickvance, Ronald (1986). Van Gogh In Saint-Rémy and Auvers (exhibition catalog, Metropolitan Museum of Art). New York: Metropolitan Museum of Art, Abrams. ISBN 0-87099-477-8.
  • Soth, Lauren (June 1986). "Van Gogh's Agony". Art Bulletin. 68 (2): 301.
  • Whitney, Charles A. (September 1986). "The Skies of Vincent van Gogh". Art History. 9 (3).

External links

2010 Farmers Classic

The 2010 Farmers Classic, presented by Mercedes-Benz, was a tennis tournament played on outdoor hard courts. It was the 84th edition of the Los Angeles Open, and was part of the Olympus US Open Series of the 2010 ATP World Tour. It took place at the Los Angeles Tennis Center in Los Angeles, California, United States, from July 26 through August 1, 2010. Sam Querrey defeated Andy Murray for the singles title. Bob and Mike Bryan won the doubles championship over Eric Butorac and Jean-Julien Rojer, who was playing on his college court. It marked the first time in the 84-year history of the tournament that both the singles and doubles championships were successfully defended. The twin brothers also set the record of 62 career doubles titles on the ATP Tour.Jim Courier was the Tournament Honoree in a special ceremony on opening night, Monday, July 26. This year's Stars Under the Stars gala featured Andre Agassi vs. John McEnroe, along with Jim Courier, Michael Chang and Pam Shriver; comedian Jon Lovitz and rock star Gavin Rossdale on Saturday, July 24. The tournament also featured the Starry Night with Keith Urban and the Avett Brothers on July 23. Additionally, the "KLOS Rocking the Net starring Bret Michaels" show featuring Tesla scheduled for Monday, August 2, at the L.A. Tennis Center was postponed until Sunday, October 24.

The prize money is $111,950 for the singles winner and $34,000 for the doubles winner. Live television coverage was provided by ESPN2 and Tennis Channel.

Fly (Through the Starry Night)

"Fly (Through the Starry Night)" is a song by Dutch Eurodance group 2 Brothers on the 4th Floor featuring rapper D-Rock and singer Des'Ray. It was released as the first single from their second album 2. The song peaked at number 1 in Israel for two weeks.

Gogh, The Starry Night

Gogh, The Starry Night (Hangul: 고호의 별이 빛나는 밤에; RR: Goho-ui Byeoli Bitnaneun Bame) is a Chinese-South Korean web-drama starring Kwon Yuri, Kim Young-kwang and Lee Ji-hoon. It was broadcast on Sohu TV every Saturday and Sunday at 00:00 from July 2, 2016.The drama also aired on SBS on Saturdays and Sundays at 22:00 on October 22 as a 4-episode mini drama, after The Second Last Love ended.

Hamadryas laodamia

Hamadryas laodamia, the starry night cracker or starry cracker, is a species of cracker butterfly in the family Nymphalidae. It can be found from Mexico to the Amazon basin, but is most common in lowland forest in the Caribbean area.

I Hear a Rhapsody

"I Hear a Rhapsody" is a 1941 pop song that became a jazz standard, composed by George Fragos, Jack Baker and Dick Gasparre. In 1941 it was a top 10 hit for three separate artists, Charlie Barnet, Jimmy Dorsey and Dinah Shore.

“I Hear a Rhapsody” was at the top of "Your Hit Parade" in 1941. It was featured in the 1952 film noir Clash by Night, in which it was sung by Tony Martin. The sound track featured jazz notables such as pianist Gerald Wiggins, alto saxophonist Benny Carter, and tenor saxophonist Coleman Hawkins. The film, directed by Fritz Lang, involved a love triangle in a small fishing village and starred Barbara Stanwyck, Robert Ryan, and Paul Douglas.

The impassioned melody is well fitted with a romantic lyric in which the mere presence of the loved one inspires heavenly music: “My darling, hold me tight and whisper to me, Then soft through the starry night I hear a rhapsody.”

Jan Hulsker

Jan Hulsker (2 October 1907, The Hague – 9 November 2002, Vancouver) was a Dutch art historian especially noted for his work on Vincent van Gogh. He studied Dutch literature in Leiden and was promoted with a thesis on the author Aart van der Leeuw. In 1953, he was appointed to the Ministerie van Cultuur, Recreatie en Maatschappelijk werk, in charge of the art department. In 1959, he became general director in charge of culture at large (directeur-generaal voor culturele zaken). The establishment of the Vincent van Gogh Foundation and the Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam were among his major tasks.

From the 1950s, Hulsker contributed to Van Gogh research, concentrating on the dating of Van Gogh's correspondence. In 1973, Hulsker's most important study was published, Van Gogh door Van Gogh, which has not been translated from the Dutch.

He is the author of an acknowledged catalogue raisonné of Van Gogh's work, published in 1978, revised in 1989 and again in 1996. His catalogue numbers are preceded by a 'JH': thus JH1731 refers to the 1889 oil painting The Starry Night (previously catalogued by Jacob Baart de la Faille as F612).

In the 1980s, Hulsker left the Netherlands and settled in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, where he died in 2002.

Joseph Kosinski

Joseph Kosinski (born May 3, 1974) is an American television commercial and feature film director best known for his computer graphics and computer generated imagery work. He made his big-screen directorial debut with the 2010 science fiction film Tron: Legacy, the sequel to the 1982 film Tron. His previous work has primarily been with CGI related television commercials including the "Starry Night" commercial for Halo 3 and the award-winning "Mad World" commercial for Gears of War.

Kwon Yu-ri

Kwon Yu-ri (born December 5, 1989), better known by her mononym Yuri, is a South Korean singer and actress. She debuted as a member of girl group Girls' Generation in August 2007, which went on to become one of the best-selling artists in South Korea and one of South Korea's most popular girl groups worldwide. Apart from her group's activities, she has been in several television dramas such as Fashion King (2012), Local Hero (2016), Gogh, The Starry Night, and Innocent Defendant (2017). In 2013, she made her film debut in No Breathing. In 2018, she released her debut solo album The First Scene.

Let's Not (song)

"Let's Not" is a single released in 1990 on vinyl and CD by the Wirral-based British band Half Man Half Biscuit. It was their first release after reforming as a four-piece, the original band having been a five-piece. It was released as a 7-inch single with "Our Tune" on the B-side, and as a 12-inch single and CD single with the extra track "Ordinary to Enschede".

"Let's Not" (3:39)

"Our Tune" (2:51)

"Ordinary to Enschede" (3:23)The songs "Let's Not" and "Our Tune" were subsequently included on the 1991 studio album McIntyre, Treadmore and Davitt. As of April 2015, "Ordinary to Enschede" has been released only on the CD version of the single.

The upper part of the cover art is the upper part of Dutch artist Vincent Van Gogh's 1889 painting The Starry Night.


Lyricism is a quality that expresses deep feelings or emotions in an inspired work of art.

Olive Trees (Van Gogh series)

Vincent van Gogh painted at least 15 paintings of olive trees, mostly in Saint-Rémy-de-Provence in 1889. At his own request, he lived at an asylum there from May 1889 through May 1890 painting the gardens of the asylum and, when he had permission to venture outside its walls, nearby olive trees, cypresses and wheat fields.

One painting, Olive Trees in a Mountainous Landscape, was a complement to The Starry Night.

The olive tree paintings had special significance for van Gogh. A group in May 1889 represented life, the divine and the cycle of life while those from November 1889 arose out of his attempt to symbolize his feelings about Christ in Gethsemane. His paintings of olive pickers demonstrate the relationship between man and nature by depicting one of the cycles of life, harvesting or death. It is also an example of how individuals, through interaction with nature, can connect with the divine.

Van Gogh found respite and relief in interaction with nature. When the series of olive tree paintings was made in 1889 he was subject to illness and emotional turmoil, yet the paintings are considered to be among his finest works. is a space and astronomy news website owned by Future. Its stories are often syndicated to other media outlets, including CNN, MSNBC, Yahoo!, and USA Today. was founded by former CNN anchor Lou Dobbs and Rich Zahradnik, in July 1999. At that time, Dobbs owned a sizeable share of the company, and, in an unexpected move, left CNN later that year to become's chief executive officer. The move came as a surprise to many and was the source of intense media speculation.The company struggled to turn a profit in its early days, and when the dot-com bubble burst in 2000, many felt that it would collapse. Co-founder Rich Zahradnik had left his position as president less than two months after the start of the company; former astronaut Sally Ride took his place but then stepped down in September 2000. As it expanded, it acquired other web sites such as and It also acquired Sienna Software (the company which produced the Starry Night software) and Space News. Despite some growth, was never able to achieve what Dobbs had hoped for and in 2001, he returned to CNN. He remains on its board and still owns a minority stake. has enjoyed the participation of several key space-related public figures, Neil Armstrong, Alexei Leonov, Eugene A. Cernan, and Thomas Stafford.

In 2003, for its coverage of the Space Shuttle Columbia disaster, it received the Online Journalism Award for Breaking News by the Online News Association.In May 2004,'s parent company changed its name from to Imaginova and in 2009 sold and other properties to Purch, an online publishing company.In 2018, and other Purch consumer brands were sold to Future.

Starry Night (Munch)

Not to be confused with The Starry NightStarry Night (Norwegian: Stjernenatt) is an oil-on-canvas painting created by the Expressionist artist Edvard Munch in 1893. This night landscape represents the coastline at Åsgårdstrand, a small beach resort south of Oslo in Norway, where Edvard Munch had spent his summers since the late 1880s. In this painting Munch shows the view from the hotel window, where he fell in love for the first time.

Starry Night Over the Rhône

Starry Night Over the Rhône (September 1888, French: Nuit étoilée sur le Rhône) is one of Vincent van Gogh's paintings of Arles at nighttime. It was painted at a spot on the bank of the Rhône that was only a one or two-minute walk from the Yellow House on the Place Lamartine which Van Gogh was renting at the time. The night sky and the effects of light at night provided the subject for some of his more famous paintings, including Cafe Terrace at Night (painted earlier the same month) and the later canvas from Saint-Rémy, The Starry Night.

A sketch of the painting is included in a letter van Gogh sent to his friend Eugène Boch on October 2, 1888.Starry Night Over the Rhône, which is now in the Musée d'Orsay in Paris, was first exhibited in 1889 at Paris' annual exhibition of the Société des Artistes Indépendants. It was shown together with van Gogh's Irises, which was added by Vincent's brother, Theo, although Vincent had proposed including one of his paintings from the public gardens in Arles.

The Starry Night, The Starry Sea

The Starry Night, The Starry Sea (Chinese: 那片星空那片海; pinyin: Nà piàn xīngkōng nà piàn Hǎi) is a 2017 Chinese television series starring Feng Shaofeng and Bea Hayden. It is adapted from the novel of the same name by Tong Hua. The series aired on Hunan TV from 6 February to 8 March 2017.A second season set in Tang Dynasty, titled The Starry Night, The Starry Sea 2 (Chinese: 那片星空那片海2), aired on Hunan TV from 2 October to 31 October 2017.

Timbres, espace, mouvement

Timbres, espace, mouvement (Timbre, space, movement) is a work for orchestra composed by Henri Dutilleux in 1978. Dutilleux subtitled the work La nuit etoilée (The Starry Night), in reference to the painting by Vincent Van Gogh. The composer wanted to translate in his composition the "almost cosmic whirling effect which (the painting) produces". Dutilleux dedicated the work to the memory of Charles Münch and to Mstislav Rostropovich, the conductor of its premiere.

This instrumentarium consists of:

2 piccolos (who double on flute)

2 flutes (second flute doubles on alto flute)

3 oboes

oboe d'amore

E-flat clarinet

2 clarinets in A

bass clarinet

3 bassoons


4 horns

3 trumpets

3 trombones


12 celli

10 double basses

percussion (crotales, suspended cymbals, tam-tams, bongos, tom-toms, snare drum, marimba, glockenspiel)



timpaniDutilleux has omitted violins and violas from his instrumentation. Their absence was meant to translate the impression of relative emptiness and immobility conveyed by the lower half of the painting. On the other hand, the wind instruments and percussions are particularly prominent. Their solos represent the movements of the clouds and the light of the stars and the moon. Space is represented by an unusual distribution of the celli. They are placed at the foreground in a half circle around the conductor. The movement is symbolized by the alternation of static episodes and whirling solos.

Mstislav Rostropovich commissioned the work, and conducted the premiere with Washington National Symphony Orchestra on 7 November 1978. Dutilleux revised the work in 1990 with the addition of an interlude for 12 cellos between the two original movements. The work is approximately 20 minutes' duration.

View of Toledo

View of Toledo (original title Vista de Toledo), is one of the two surviving landscapes painted by El Greco. The other, View and Plan of Toledo, is on display at the Museo de El Greco in Toledo.

View of Toledo is among the best known depictions of the sky in Western art, along with Vincent van Gogh's The Starry Night and the landscapes of J. M. W. Turner and Claude Monet, among others. Most notable is the distinct color contrast between the dark and somber skies above and the glowing green hills below. While influenced by the Mannerist style, El Greco's expressive handling of color and form is without parallel in the history of art. In this painting, he takes liberties with the actual layout of Toledo insofar as certain building locations are re-arranged. However, the location of the Castle of San Servando, on the left, is accurately depicted. El Greco's signature appears in the lower-right corner.

Vincent (song)

"Vincent" is a song by Don McLean written as a tribute to Vincent van Gogh. It is also known by its opening line, "Starry Starry Night", a reference to Van Gogh's 1889 painting The Starry Night. The song also describes other paintings by the artist.

McLean wrote the lyrics in 1971 after reading a book about the life of van Gogh. The following year, the song became the No. 1 hit in the UK Singles Chart for two weeks. and No. 12 in the US. In the US, "Vincent" also hit No. 2 on the Easy Listening chart. Billboard ranked it as the No. 94 song for 1972.

The song makes use mainly of the guitar but also includes the accordion, marimba, and strings.

The song was a particular favorite of the late rapper and actor Tupac Shakur, and was played to him in the hospital just before he died.Among the artists who covered this song are Karina, Ronan Keating, Josh Groban and Ellie Goulding.

Who's Got the 10½?

Who's Got the 10½? is a live album by the American hardcore punk rock band Black Flag. It was released on March 19, 1986 through SST Records. The album was recorded live at the Starry Night in Portland, Oregon on August 23, 1985.

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