Starry Night and the Apse Mosaic

Topics: Vincent van Gogh, Night sky, Sky Pages: 2 (623 words) Published: February 15, 2014
One great subject of art is nature. This subject can be used in many different ways from illustrating a theme or furthering the mood. In Van Gogh’s Starry Night it shows how beautiful the sky is. In the Apse Mosaic it focuses more on the agricultural side of nature. Both of these paintings show nature in a unique way.

Van Gogh painted this piece in 1889 while he was in Saint Remy seeking treatment in a mental asylum. Interestingly enough, he painted this piece from his memory and it was supposed to have been based on a constellation arrangement he had seen earlier on in the night sky of Provence. The first thing that I noticed was the overwhelming night sky, which takes up most of the background. Its swirling, flowing lines appear to be swishing across the background in this gentle, wavy motion and seem to be merging at the center to form this spiral-like formation. Eleven fiery yellow stars that look like huge fireballs illuminate this whole piece and contrast with the cool blue, fluid night sky that takes on an amazing variety of shades of blue and grey. The architecture of the village is quaint and simple and no light illuminates the village, giving the impression that everyone in the village is sleeping. In general, his brush strokes are heavy and thick and have this insistent, hectic rhythm to it. As a result, this painting has an illusion of constantly being in motion. This painting represents its time period by the painting style, colors, and emphasized swirling patterns, the old architectural elements depicted in the background, the visibility of starry sky. The night sky in Vincent's time was "dark" compared to today's light polluted sky. The stars were bright and easily seen against the dark sky in the 19th century before towns and villages were lit at night like today. The stars are still there today, but there are so many lights on the ground, most people can only see a hand full of stars, if that, today in urban areas.

The 6th century...
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