Van Gogh Starry Night

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Starry, Starry Night
“Starry, starry night, paint your palette blue and grey, look out on a summer's day, with eyes that know the darkness in my soul.” (Don MacLean) I chose to write about the painting, The Starry Night by Dutch artist Vincent van Gogh. Van Gogh painted the view outside his sanitarium room window located in southern France at night. But Van Gogh painted it from memory during the day.

I feel that this painting has Asymmetrical Balance. From our handouts – “In this case balance is achieved with dissimilar objects that have equal visual weight or equal eye attraction. “ The Starry Night is a picture of the night sky with stars and trees and the moon. We read that Nature is not symmetrical. Even the stars are different sizes and give off different light. “Shape and Texture also attracts our attention and is used in Asymmetrical Balance.”

The Rhythm of this painting appears to be Legato Rhythm. The handout says “some rhythms are called legato, meaning connecting and slowing. This work gives a feeling of relaxing and calm.” The stars make up most of the painting – they are different in brightness, along with the moon. When we look at the stars, they are all yellow and round, vary in size and placement, and they have halo like light encircling them. “Sketch the trees and the daffodils, Catch the breeze and the winter chills.” (DL) The breeze and the winter chills give off a Legato rhythm flowing with the swirling wind and the round brush strokes throughout the painting.

The Lines in this painting show movement in the sky as well as distance. The cypress tree in front is a thicker stroke as to the trees and bushes in the background. The lines that make up the buildings get thinner as your eye looks further and deeper into the painting. The vertical lines such as the green cypress tree and church tower softly break up the composition, but keep your eyes moving around them. Van Gogh used “dot-to-dot” lines to depict the wind movement...
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