In terms of historical context, van Gogh madethe rare act of cutting his own ear in 1889. Since then, it has been said thathe felt into a depression that would follow him for the rest of his life. Sowhen it comes to the subject matter of StarryNight, previous analysis has gotten to the conclusion that this paintingworks as a portrait of the view of van Gogh’s window towards Saint-Remy, whichwas the city where he used to fight his emotional pain while continuing toportray art.
That’s why we can interpret through the image of the painting astarry night and a bright crescent moon, overlooking a town. When it comes to the color of the painting, wecan appreciate how van Gogh’s use of white and yellow makes a visual impact andattracts attention regarding the sky. His election of dark blues and greenswere supplemented with touches of mint green demonstrating the impression ofthe moon.
It is believed that van Gogh was suffering from a brain disease,which lead him to choose strange and peculiar colors in his last paintings. The technique that he applied to these densecolors was to use strong, expressive brushstrokes that were attached to acomplex composition in order to create a perception of distance. If you payclose attention, it is incredible how he was able to separate the sky from theearth. In terms of unity, van Gogh looks like he was really concerned about thiselement. The brush strokes in combination with the colors have the purpose ofunifying the surface to create the sensation that everything belongs together.
For this painting, van Gogh used the method ofapplying paint on canvas, which is called “impasto” in Italian. This term means”mixture” in English. The bright color and thickly layer textures make thetrees, buildings and drifting moon to seem alive.
Therefore, he applies a roughtexture to portray a painting that would be emotionally active for the audience. From van Gogh’s point of view, he sawthis painting as a source to show emotions. Many believe that the night skyreflect his quest to overcome sickness, and that his view towards the villagecreates a sense of comfort. While the purpose of this painting would be tocommunicate that the nighttime is not just plain darkness, it can be sometimesso illuminated that it might contain a message of hope or simply give a goodvibration.