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“Starry Night” by Vincent Van Gogh Essay

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Updated: Oct 9th, 2021


Starry Night

Starry Night created by Vincent van Gogh is considered to be one of the most outstanding works of the world art. It was painted in 1889 during the author’s visit of Asylum. Modern culture centralizes this painting as the real masterpiece of the art history. The image under consideration can be analyzed from different angles of social spheres; it can be explained by the fact that the picture relates to the cultural change of its time period. Many different aspects of the time and culture contributed to the creation of Starry Night as well as to various interpretations of its meaning and its identity as one of the greatest works of the world art.

The culture of the XIX century differed by its global changes in the development of world art. The famous artists tried to evaluate the significance of the social spheres which influenced the nature of the art works. The cultural influence on the theme and manner of the work The Starry Night presented by the author can be evaluated through the complicated world look of its nature. It should be stressed that the features of the painting are a bit exaggerated. This fact is connected with the state of the spheres of social, political and cultural life and its impact on the nature of the work. Thus, cultural aspect influence and reflection in the character of the painting relates to the techniques used by its author. The analysis of the work shows the peaceful manner of its presentation. All the lines used in the painting are considered to be individual though not so realistic as they could be. Van Gogh considered this picture of his to be not so close to the real life. The exaggeration of the drawing lines is connected with the exaggeration of the cultural values of the author’s epoch. The time impact on the picture manner can be observed in the small details of the work. For example, it reflects the deep intercultural cooperation with the help of the deep sky and curving mirrors. The structure of the painting characterizes the condition of the social life in small villages and towns. The social and cultural aspects are here closely interrelated. A small town painted is covered by peaceful and calm atmosphere being involved into the magic theme of the night. Cultural imagination of the author is interrelated with the social stability illustrated on the picture. The theme of isolation and stress of the night power should be also regarded as the characteristic of the author’s life.

Religious aspect

Religious aspect is considered to be one of the central on the painting. Curving lines reflected mildness of the people’s relation to the sphere of culture. Dark colors of the picture underline the stage of the religious domination in the society. It is important to note that the aspect of religion can b easily evaluated through the centralization of the church depicted on the picture. The author reflected the need of the faith affirmation stressing the necessity of going out during the night ion order to admire the starry sky. The rejection of the religious views is considered to be opposed to the aspect of belief. The picture managed to show the darkness of the evening through shades of various colors. The central position of the church at the picture grabs attention on the religious theme of the work. Van Gogh tried to make the church stand out of the small houses of the village. This fact can be explained by the role of the religion in the center of human social life at that period. Considering the fact that the picture is not regarded as the realistic one it should be noted that Van Gogh reflected the glory of God seeing it in the deep blue sky. The stars of the picture stimulated the thoughts development concerning the meaning of the death and immortality.

The basic elements

The basic elements of the painting are considered to be the sky, village and cypress expressing the combination of the past and the future. From the artistic point of view all the elements of the picture are considered to be mystical. Despite the absence of sophisticated structure of the painting it seems to be not so simple expressing the direct meaning. The stars painted on the sky of the picture are associated with the soul immortality. (Vincent Van Gogh. Starry Night, 2008).

Geographical aspect

Geographical aspect of the picture is expressed through the fact that our earth is the planet if; it could be interesting from the author’s point of view to think of the Dutch or Greek matters contributing to the development of their schools and promoting them on many other planet of the world. The promotion of the basic theme of the picture was devoted to the idea of the picture highlighting not only within the neighboring countries but throughout the whole world. Van Gogh expressed his belief in the life after the death. That is why the picture is so mysterious. The symbolic representation of the afterlife illusion depicted by the author is the indication of the rebirth and cultural reformation. The religious theme of the work is one of the deepest on the picture. The soul transmigration underlined with the help of the exaggerated stars and curving mild lines highlight the traditional ideas of the Van Gogh epoch. (Ravlich, 2001).

Technological influence on the nature of the author’s work was not so vivid and profound. The illustration of the nature harmony puts the theme of technological progress on the second place. The author managed to depict the typical characteristic of the Dutch landscape through the steeple and village calm atmosphere. This picture can be regarded as the address of the author to the past in order to understand the present time.

Political and economical influence

Political and economical influence on the art of Van Gogh is reflected in the cypress depiction. Poor position of the state will never allow the author to worry about the national political and economical future. This sphere is shown as the process of the sufferings release. In this function cypress is considered to be the central figure of the picture. The impact on the work painted by van Gogh can be characterized by the dominance of the Northern Romantic painting of landscapes; this part of the cultural development of that epoch left a print on the manner of the picture presentation. The sky is considered to be a symbolic representation of the infinity. The play of light and rhythm of the picture involve the viewers of the work into the mystical atmosphere of the harmony between the nature and the society being united by the religious aspect of the painting.

It is important to stress that the painting is quite thought provoking though the first impression could be not so pleasant. The symbols exaggeration is the reflection of the time period of Van Gogh art career. The canvas of power and vitality swirl the sky. Van Gogh came to a conclusion that our planet will move to the heavens sooner or later. He sticks to the point that our world is not physical. The space and physical objects are incompatible that is why earth cannot have a physical nomination. He considered that all spheres of life are in space interconnected. It opens the way to the solution of the human knowledge fundamental problem. The author was influenced by the intellectual sphere of life; he considered that people’s most difficult problems of education, theology and philosophy could be solved due to the intellectual cooperation with the space.

The realism of the picture

The realism of the picture can be expressed through the play of the art techniques. This can be the main reason for the major influence of the painting on the work of modern artists throughout the whole world. Not only the sphere of art but the areas of architecture and music were inspired by the work The Starry Night. A lot of modern compositions are devoted to this very work of the author. Thus, the famous rapper whose name is 2pac devoted his song to the theme of the painting under consideration. One Spanish group promoted the songs and the views of the painting idea. Different spheres of social activities such as politics, economics, technology and intellectual science managed to be combined in the depiction of the magic night. The Starry Night left a print in the art development of the XIX century depicting all the peculiarities of the social activity. (Vincent Van Gogh. Starry Night, 2008).


Thus, the analysis of the painting managed to show that it covered various aspects of human life taking into account the change of the religion and culture. The picture The Starry Night underwent different interpretations as to the impact of the work on different sides of people’s activities. The theme of the space and its reflection on the problem solution was one of the central due to its magic and mysterious character. To sum up the idea of the analysis one should underline the strong belief of Van Gogh in the afterlife notion and his attempts to connect this belief with the real processes of life. The sphere of world art perceives the painting as the real masterpiece of the painting history.


A Brief Understanding of the Starry Night Paintings. Web.

Ravlich, Robyn. Starry Night. 2001. Web.

. Starry Night. 2008. Web.

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