15. The Starry Night
Artist: Patrick Gauthier
Benefactor: Bob and Jan Fitzsimmons
Location: 719 P St.
The painting “The Starry Night” is a world-recognized painting. Although Vincent Van Gogh lived a tormented life, this painting seems to have a positive attraction to people worldwide. As an artist, Vincent van Gogh reminds me that it is okay to not color inside the lines and provides an artist encouragement to create with passion. Although this painting is highly recognizable, it would seem appropriate to bring more recognition to Vincent van Gogh and possibly give rise to even more interest to the history of art and spark more appreciation of the many personalities of different artists.
The Story of Starry Night
Vincent van Gogh painted “Starry Night” in 1889 during his stay at the asylum of Saint-Paul-de-Mausole near Saint-Rémy-de-Provence. Van Gogh lived well in the hospital; he was allowed more freedoms than any of the other patients. If attended, he could leave the hospital grounds; he was allowed to paint, read, and withdraw into his own room. He was even given a studio. While he suffered from the occasional relapse into paranoia and fits – officially he had been diagnosed with epileptic fits – it seemed his mental health was recovering.
Unfortunately, he relapsed. He began to suffer hallucinations and plunged into depression. Accordingly, there was a tonal shift in I his work. He returned to incorporating the darker colors from the beginning of his career and Starry Night is a wonderful example of that shift. Blue dominates the painting, blending hills into the sky. The little village lies at the base the painting, colored in browns, grays and blues. Even though each building is clearly outlined in black, the yellow and white of the moon and the stars stand out against the sky, drawing the eyes to the sky. They are the big attention grabber of the painting.