The Sky Of Van Gogh Essay

1327 Words Dec 16th, 2014 null Page
Adorned today on everything from t-shirts to coffee mugs, “Starry Night” serves as one of (if not the) most famous of Vincent Van Gogh’s paintings. Painted in 1889, under “a terrible need of religion” (Sund 673), the piece could very well be Van Gogh’s contemplation of death. Confirmed to have been completed sometime between June 16-18 (Whitney 356), the artist’s mental state could also have contributed to the creativity of the piece. The nature of this painting is slightly unusual for Van Gogh’s previous works because this one “did not paint on the spot; instead, the artist aggrandized and melded together a variety of seen motifs to create an ecstatic visioin” (Sund 672). This idea was confirmed by Charles A Whitney in his article, “The Skies of Van Gogh” where he uses star mapping and historical references to discover the possible explanation and influence behind the painting. He discovers from his studies:
The weather records for Arles tell us why van Gogh painted the sky when he did. They show two cloudy spells during mid-June that year. The sky was overcast in Arles during June 10-14 (with rain in Saint-Remy on the 12th and 13th), it was fairly clear on June 15-18 and then again became overcast on the 18-20 June. 356

So, all the elements of the sky in Starry Night were on view through van Gogh’s window at one time or another that spring. They were not all in view at the same time, but were merely need to give up the notion that he painted the scene as a snapshot. 358…

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