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Art assignment

By brieannalaw May 02, 2014 1860 Words
Starry Night Composition
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 Starry Night 
Vincent van Gogh
The night sky depicted by van Gogh in the Starry Night painting is brimming with whirling clouds, shining stars, and a bright crescent moon. The setting is one that viewers can relate to and van Gogh´s swirling sky directs the viewer´s eye around the painting, with spacing between the stars and the curving contours creating a dot-to-dot effect. These internal elements ensure fluidity and such contours were important for the artist even though they were becoming less significant for other Impressionists. Thus Starry Night´s composition was distinct from the Impressionist technique of the 19th century.

The artist was aware that his Starry Night composition was somewhat surreal and stylized and in a letter to his brother he even referred to "exaggerations in terms of composition. " The vivid style chosen by van Gogh was unusual - he chose lines to portray this night scene when silhouettes would have been a more obvious choice.

In Starry Night contoured forms are a means of expression and they are used to convey emotion. Many feel that van Gogh´s turbulent quest to overcome his illness is reflected in the dimness of the night sky. The village is painted with dark colors but the brightly lit windows create a sense of comfort. The village is peaceful in comparison to the dramatic night sky and the silence of the night can almost be felt in Starry Night. The steeple dominates the village and symbolizes unity in the town. In terms of composition, the church steeple gives an impression of size and isolation.

In the left foreground is a curvy cypress tree which is typically associated with mourning. It is painted in the same way as the sky with fluid lines which enhances the flow of the Starry Night painting well as its easiness on the eye. Starry Night Use of color

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 Starry Night 
Vincent van Gogh
Van Gogh´s choice of color in Starry Night has been much debated, particularly the dominance of yellow in this and other late works. Some believe van Gogh may have been suffering from lead poisoning or a type of brain disease and that this explains his strange use of color in later paintings.

Van Gogh's use of white and yellow creates a spiral effect and draws attention to the sky. Vertical lines such as the cypress tree and church tower softly break up the composition without retracting from the powerful night sky depicted in Starry Night.

Vincent van Gogh´s choice of dark blues and greens were complemented with touches of mint green showing the reflection of the moon. The buildings in the centre of the painting are small blocks of yellows, oranges, and greens with a dash of red to the left of the church. The dominance of blue in Starry Night is balanced by the orange of the night sky elements.

Van Gogh paints the rich colors of the night and this corresponds with the true character of this Starry Night, whereby colors are used to suggest emotion. Starry Night Use of Light
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 Starry Night 
Vincent van Gogh
Van Gogh´s passion for nighttime is evident in the Starry Night painting, where the powerful sky sits above the quiet town. It seems that van Gogh is contrasting life and death with luminous stars and a gloomy, peaceful village. The main light sources are the bright stars and crescent moon. Starry Night Mood, Tone and Emotion

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 Starry Night 
Vincent van Gogh
There are various interpretations of Starry Night and one is that this canvas depicts hope. It seems that van Gogh was showing that even with a dark night such as this it is still possible to see light in the windows of the houses. Furthermore, with shining stars filling the sky, there is always light to guide you. It seems that van Gogh was finally being cured of his illness and had essentially found his heaven. He also knew that in death he would be at peace and further portrays this by using bold colors in the Starry Night painting.

In a letter to his brother, Theo, van Gogh comments: "I should not be surprised if you liked the Starry Night and the Ploughed Fields, there is a greater quiet about them than in the other canvases. " Later in the letter he makes reference to Leo Tolstoys book My Religion and its lack of belief in resurrection. Such fleeting mentions of religion echoed van Goghs feelings towards the subject at this time; he could neither forget it nor totally accept it. Despite this, his use of the word 'quiet' and reference to Tolstoys book indicates that the night sky made him feel calm and brought to mind eternity.

Starry Night shows the vast power of nature and the church spire and cypress tree - representing man and nature - both point to the heavens. Starry Night Brushstroke
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 Starry Night 
Vincent van Gogh
In Starry Night van Gogh´s unique, thick brush strokes are very much obvious and it´s possible that his severe attacks further dramatized his brush work. However, there is a consistency to his technique that adds even more depth as well as a rich texture to this work of art.

Starry Night is a beautiful painting, representational in the type of art. The size of the painting is 29 in. by 36 ¼ in., and oil on canvas were the materials used. Van Gogh is using an expressive quality and an emotionalism viewpoint. On the left side of the painting, there is a group of black lines that curve in waves upward, coming to a point. To the lower right, there is a small town that leads up to hills and then mountains. The painting is set at night, and the sky is a wondrous swirl of bursting blues, greens, and a gentle yellow for the crescent moon that is in the upper right corner. Lighter values of blue shape the outlines of large stars in the sky, though some stars are smaller than others. Sometimes, there is a yellow dot, the color of the moon in the innermost circle of the star. The town is shown through light blues, and yellow squares of light show that electricity or candlelight is glowing, though no people are shown. On the left side, it is not apparent of exactly what the lines are. At first, it comes across as a sort of castle, but then you get the impression that it is a plant of some sort that is growing toward sky. As you look closer you realize that the mysterious shape is not made of black lines, but dark green, with hints of blues and blacks in its midst. Balance is shown, because the crescent moon over the town gives a taller feel to the right side, giving the left side an equal.  The objective of this painting is clearly to depict a small town, at night time, also showing a tall, unidentifiable structure that is made up of curved lines. The title, “Starry Night,” helps to discern that the night sky is clearly one of the main points. The type of art is representational, because the painting is realistic. The aesthetic viewpoint is emotionalism, as Van Gogh’s work is realistic, but you can still detect emotion within the painting. The dominant elements of art used are value, space, and texture. Value is used as far as different shades of blues and greens. Value is shown throughout the whole painting. Space is created with the depth of the night sky. The town is small, but is large enough to create a space that goes into the painting, and onto the mountains. Texture is used in the small brushstrokes used in the painting. Variety is shown in the form of a small, quaint, and normal town under a mystical sea of stars and moon, and the town is next to a seemingly magical but unidentifiable structure. The focal point is easily the sky, because it has the brightest colors and greatest application of texture. But as your eyes search the painting, the tall castle-like structure catches your eyes and draws your vision to the town, the mountains, and then back to the sky. The illusion of space is deep, as if you are peering past the little town, into the mountains, and through the night sky. The movement is easily active, as bursts of light and shades dominate the night sky, but at the same time, the town is calm and simple. The visual balance is symmetrical. Though the black lines draw the eye, the crescent moon above the town balances the painting. Parts of the painting, though surreal, fit together because they are all in the same setting: night time. As said in the focal point, the parts of the painting flow into one another. The artist is saying that he loves the glow of the moon on a mountaintop, the mystery of a castle, the quaintness of a small town. The artist is drawing from within to create emotion and spirit. The meaning of the painting is along the lines of peacefulness and serenity. I would not expect this town to be full of crime or noise. Even if it was, this is not what the artist depicted. What he did depict was a town, some houses with twinkling lights, others dark with the peace of sleep. But energy in the painting lives, with the stars glistening like small suns. I see that the painting expresses a dark mood, but happy at the same time. I mean this in the way that night has darkness, but light intrudes, creating a feeling of calm beauty.  This work is successful. It certainly met its objective, which was to portray a small town at night, with a brilliant sky and a tall and beautiful but unidentifiable structure. This painting is fairly realistic, so as far as the type of art, the objective was met. However, emotionalism is also an objective, because the artist imitates reality, but also draws inward for emotion. Good balance is shown in the painting, I would say it is symmetrical. Rhythm is also well shown, as you gaze at the painting, your eyes moving around as each part flows into another. Emphasis is shown on the night sky and the great black figure. Proportion is difficult to describe, as it is difficult to discern just how big the black figure really is. Variety in the mystical castle and the quaint town is well shown. Harmony is shown in the way that parts of the painting come together. Space, value, texture, and shape are the dominant elements of art, as stated in the analysis. I love this work of art because I love the night so much, particularly in this painting, with its bursts of light and color. I also love mysteries, and the structure on the left side of the painting is definitely a mystery to me. I find that this painting is a new favorite of mine, because of its beauty. It is an exceptional work of art.

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