Starry Starry Night
Vincent van Gogh

Starry Starry Night
Starry Starry Night
Item# V0001
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Product Description

In September 1888, while van Gogh was staying in Arles, he executed a painting commonly known as Starry Night Over the Rhone1] and later he incorporated a pen drawing in a set of a dozen based on recent paintings. Van Gogh claimed to have a "terrible need for religion" when he painted Starry Night Over the Rhone.

Reed pen drawing by van Gogh, executed after the painting In mid-September 1889, following a heavy crisis which lasted from mid-July to the last days of August, he thought to include this "Study of the Night" in the next batch of works to be sent to his brother, Theo, in Paris. In order to reduce the shipping costs, he withheld three of the studies ("above-mentioned – Poppies – Night Effect – Moonrise"). These three went to Paris with the shipment to follow. As Theo did not immediately report its arrival, Vincent inquired again, and finally received Theo's commentary on his recent work.

The center part shows the village of Saint-Rémy under a swirling sky, in a view from the asylum towards north. The Alpilles far to the right fit to this view, but there is little rapport of the actual scene with the intermediary hills which seem to be derived from a different part of the surroundings, south of the asylum. The cypress tree to the left was added into the composition. Of note is the fact van Gogh had already, during his time in Arles, repositioned Ursa Major from the north to the south in his painting Starry Night Over the Rhone

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Publisher's Comment

Note the 11 Stars. Some people have speculated about the eleven stars in the painting. While it's true that Vincent didn't have the same religious fervour in 1889, when he painted the work, as he did in his earlier years, there is a possibility that the story of Joseph in the Old Testament may have had an influence on the composition of the work.

"Look, I have had another dream' he said, 'I thought I saw the sun, the moon and eleven stars, bowing to me.'" Genesis 37:9.