Starry Night Essay

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“The Starry Night” (figure 1) was painted by Vincent Van Gogh in 1889 and is an oil painting on canvas, measuring 72cm x 92cm. It stands on the walls of the Modern Art Museum in New York. The thick sweeping brushstrokes throughout The Starry Night is what created this textural masterpiece. A flame like cypress unites the churning sky and the quiet village below. The village was partly invented, and the church spire evokes Van Gogh' s native land, the Netherlands (MOMA np). Starry Night has clear a Japanese influence, as Vincent Van Gogh was fascinated by the Japanese engravings and stamps (LOVG 1). There are several main aspects that intrigue those who view this image, and each factor affects each individual differently. The night sky is filled with swirling clouds and stars that shine with their own luminescence, keeping the viewer's eyes moving about the painting, following the curves and creating a visual dot to dot with the stars. Although the features are exaggerated, this is a scene that is relatable and one that most individuals feel comfortable and at ease with. Below the rolling hills of the horizon lies a small town. There is a peaceful essence flowing from the structures. Perhaps the cool dark colors and the fiery windows spark memories of his warm childhood years filled with imagination of what exists in the night and dark starry skies. The center point of the town is the tall steeple of the church, reigning largely over the smaller buildings. This steeple casts down a sense of stability onto the town, and also creates a sense of size and seclusion. To the left of the painting there is a massive dark structure that develops an even greater sense of size and isolation. The curving lines mirror that of the sky and create the sensation of depth within the painting (VVG np). The cypress tree, a traditional symbol of both death and external life,

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