Starry Night was painted by Vincent Van Gogh in 1889 in the village of Saint-Remy, in the south of France. It is an oil on canvas post-impressionist painting which depicts the view from Van Sago's window at night, although it was painted from memory during the day.
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There he met Pissarro, Monet, and Gauguin, and he was influenced by their use of short brush strokes to convey movement. A technique which is clearly evident in his artworks. Van Gogh moved south to Arles in 1888, were he tried to capture the warmth and sunlight of the southern French countryside. His artworks became brighter in color and the style became more dynamic. Van Gogh aimed to express his emotions in his artworks though the multiple brush strokes and use of bold color. Art in the late sass was moving on from the impressionist style towards the expressionist style.
This movement is known as the post-impressionist movement. Post-impressionist artworks still focus on capturing light, although they are more emotionally expressive than impressionist artworks. Van Gogh admired the works of Jules Breton, in particular Bretons work SST. Johns Eve, which depicts peasant girls dancing on a summer evening. A village with a church and the crescent moon over it can be seen in the background, and it is believed this influenced Van Sago's artwork Starry Night. Starry Night is a perfect example of a post-impressionist artwork.
It was painted in June 1889, using oil paint on canvas. The artwork depicts the village of Saint-Remy, as seen from Van Sago's window in the Saint-Remy Hospital where he was staying. An enormous sky dominates the picture and falls upon the quiet town. The large halos on the stars dwarf the small quiet town beneath, perhaps suggesting that humans are tiny in comparison with nature and the stars. The style is both expressive, impressionistic and semi-realistic. However, unlike impressionist artworks, this painting does not focus purely on capturing light, but also in portraying Van Sago's emotions.
His desperate thoughts, feeling of disconnection from the world and need o escape are visible in the night scene, as well as the energetic brush strokes and the vibrant colors of the stars against the dark blues of the night. At the time which Vincent Van Gogh painted this painting he was in the Saint-Remy Hospital because of his serious depression (he cut his own ear of. The visible brush strokes create prominent lines, thus giving the painting movement, this is particularly visible in the sky and keeps the viewers eyes constantly following the organic curves and lines.
It is believed that the swirling clouds represent his tortured mind and confusion. The vertical lines of the church tower and the cypress tree divide the canvas into thirds, illustrating Van Sago's use of classical composition. The composition also contributes further to the feeling of movement. A large black structure towers upwards on the far left of the painting, leading the viewers eye into the curves of the sky and on into the center of the painting where the twisting clouds are surrounded brilliant bright stars.
The viewers' eye finally rests on the small dark town which, in contrast to the sky, practically blends into the blue mountains. The town and mountains are painted in dark colors so that the viewer's attention is drawn to the sky (the focus of the painting). The large yellow stars dwarf small flecks of yellow in the town and contrast with the sky. This contrast reflects Van Sago's turbulent emotions. White is used to brighten the stars and the sky. The scale of the artwork is 29 x 36 h inches (73. 7 x 92. 1 CM). This medium scale does not overwhelm the viewer, but makes them come closer to the artwork as to see the details.
Giving the viewer a personal experience of the landscape. The large dark tree in the foreground of the ar left of the painting gives the artwork a sense of perspective, which again makes the experience of the painting more real. After viewing this painting, the audience is left with a glimpse into the tortured soul of Vincent Van Gogh, and they have experienced the landscape of Saint-Remy. Wassail Sandusky was a Russian artist who painted in an abstract style. He aimed to use art as a medium to communicate directly with one's emotions.
He wanted it to go straight to one's heart, and strongly believed that figurative forms prevented this. As a young boy he played piano and cello, and this lead him to create a some what musical style of art. He aimed to create artworks which had the same effect on the viewer as the listener of a piece of music has, which is why his artworks had musical titles such as "composition" and "improvisations". Sandusky moved to Germany in 1911, at this time the tension was growing between the different countries, leading up to World War 1 (starting in 1914).
Germany was on the brink of war, Just waiting for something to set it into action. The rivalry between Britain and Germany's military forces was extreme, and this political rivalry was taken into the art world. Paris was the centre of the art world and Particularly in Germany he atmosphere would have been extremely chaotic and tense. This is clearly reflected in the busy composition of Sandiness's artworks during this time. In 1913 Wassail Sandusky painted Composition VI', using oil on canvas. Sandusky wanted to portray truths and emotions, which is why this artwork does not depict figurative forms.
The traditional oil on canvas medium contrasts with the unusual subject, thus surprising the viewer and increasing the impact of the painting. It is a painting of monumental scale, being 200 x 300 CM. This overwhelms the viewer, communicating the intense atmosphere of Germany at the time, and Sandiness's lining of confusion and chaos. This feeling of confusion and chaos if further demonstrated by his use of line. The lines in this painting are explosive, there is a mixture of organic and geometric. This creates an image which almost seems to posses its own energy.
The painting appears alive and moving, thus drawing the viewer in and engaging with their emotions. In the centre of the painting is a small circle, which could possibly represent the eye of a hurricane. It is surrounded by an outburst of color and lines which at first makes the viewers eye dart around the painting, unsure where to look and overwhelmed at the intensity. Eventually the audience focuses on the dark blue shape in the centre of the canvas, here the lines are closer together and the shapes are strongly outlined.
Everything appears to be exploding out from the centre of the artwork. Sandusky believed that certain colors could communicate different emotion. The range of colors in this artwork portrays a jumble of emotions. The colors used are bright bold colors which contribute to the overall effect of chaos. The colors are more intense in the centre of the painting, and towards the edge they become more pastel-like. This aids in drawing the attention of the audience to the centre of the painting.
By focusing the viewers eye in this way, Sandusky sucks them in to his world of chaos and confusion. The overall mood of the painting is confused and busy. Everything is bright and exploding which reflects the time in which Sandusky painted. The audience experiences the atmosphere of Germany in 1913, particularly how the world could erupt into war at any moment. This color choice in this artwork allows Sandusky to directly communicate with the viewers emotions, and leaves them feeling overwhelmed and bewildered. Vincent Van Sago's Starry Night is an post-impressionist artwork.
It aims to communicate Van Sago's experience of the landscape and also his strong emotional feelings. It is classically composed and uses organic forms and flowing lines, giving the artwork movement. It quite different to Wassail Sandiness's Composition VI', which focus's mostly on the viewers emotional experience and communicating the hectic pre World War 1 confusion in Germany, through the use of abstract style and the energetic colors. Unlike Starry Night it does not have an obvious subject
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