Vincent Van Gogh's The Starry Night

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The Dutch painter Vincent van Gogh (1853–1890) inspired by his Impressionist predecessors, cultivated a style that would be come to be known as Post-Impression. Van Gogh’s style expressed psychological and emotional responses to the surrounding world with an enhancing and expanding upon Impressionism. He used a brighter palette of colors with a looser brush stroke that left visual evidence of its action on the canvas. Historically, Van Gogh was known for having suffered from deep depression and mental illness. As stated by Kloss (2005): “He was deeply unhappy and his brother Theo then sent him prints, which he copied in drawings. And drawing became his means of recovering his mental balance. In 1880, with Theo 's support, Vincent, then …show more content…
Kloss (2005) states: “Like most of his magnificent letters, which really qualify as great literature, this passage demonstrates that Vincent looked at Nature as intensely as Cezanne, but filtered it through different psyche; a personality so tenuously balanced on the brink; that the letter, like the painting that followed it, was created in a rush of emotion (L44). In 1889, Van Gogh painted The Starry Night. Kloss states: it is “majestic, expressionistic and unexpected. It is often cited as one of the most important precursors of German and Nordic Expressionism.” “At least one art historian has observed that it is more powerful, and more imaginative, than anything in later Expressionistic art, which proceeded from a similar charged vision of Nature (L44). Van Gogh’s work around this time was full of “passion and turmoil” yet his Starry Night is an extreme expression of abstraction; “in the sense of painting the natural world from memory and imagination, rather than face to face” (L44). Six months after this painting in December of 1889, Van Gogh wrote a letter to Emile …show more content…
He lived through World War I and spent most of his life in France. “During the 1930s, with a worldwide depression, fascism rising, the possibility of another war looming, art naturally reflected it all”. “In Spain in the 1930s, the political polarization of the country was causing a descent into violence” (L48). In April of 1937, German war planes and dive bombers, under the command of Franco, allowing the Nazi’s to test their military weaponry over Spain, devastated the small town of Guernica killing innocent civilians. Picasso’s emotional outrage in response to this tragedy inspired his interpretation of the war torn remains of the village in his work entitled Guernica (1937). “Picasso under the duress of this aggression discovered a previously unseen expressive power in the inventions and the experiments of cubism”

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