Two Starry Nights
Updated: Jun 3, 2020
We can't host events at the gallery right now but we can reflect on art all we want. We love thinking about the differences between Van Gogh's Starry Night and an earlier night sky he painted called Starry Night on the Rhone .
The Rhone was painted on location in Arles while Starry Night was painted during Van Gogh’s confinement to a mental institution in St Remy. I can't remember off hand if he could see a village from his window or had to produce this from imagination. I prefer to think the latter.
The Rhone features dimmer stars with more pronounced city lights reflecting off of the river, it makes the emphasis come from the city below. In Starry Night the stars and moon are far more dazzling, making the emphasis come down from the sky above, instead.
There is a couple in the foreground of The Rhone, but people are only an unspoken presence in Starry Night and the foreground is dominated by a gloomy cypress tree. That may say something about Van Gogh's state of mind at the time. Humanity has receded.
Anyway, art can be a great source of inspiration or meditation. Hope this little thought is helpful! Share your own thoughts if you wish.