North Platte, NE
Starry Night In Bethlehem
Photograph - Photograph Digital
This is my interpretation of Van Gogh's Starry Night. Depicted as a nativity scene with a Christmas tree on the left.
Starry Night (Dutch: De sterrennacht) is a painting by the Dutch post-impressionist artist Vincent van Gogh. Painted in June 1889, it depicts the view outside of his sanitarium room window at Saint-R�my-de-Provence (located in southern France) at night, although it was painted from memory during the day. It has been in the permanent collection of the Museum of Modern Art in New York City, part of the Lillie P. Bliss Bequest, since 1941. The painting is among Van Gogh's most well-known works and marks a decisive turn towards greater imaginative freedom in his art.
In a letter written to �mile Bernard in April 1888, Van Gogh expressed his desire to paint the night sky, and questioned whether he could achieve his intention by painting from nature as the Impressionists did:
The imagination is certainly a faculty which we must develop and it alone can bring us to creation of a more exalting and consoling nature ... A star-spangled sky, for instance, that's a thing I would like to try to do ... But how can I manage unless I make up my mind to work ... from imagination?
Starry Night Over the Rhone, 1888, oil on canvas
In September 1888, before his December breakdown that resulted in his hospitalisation in Arles, he painted Starry Night Over the Rhone. Working by night under a gas lamp, Van Gogh painted this work directly from nature. "It does me good to do what's difficult, "Van Gogh wrote, "That doesn�t stop me having a tremendous need for, shall I say the word�for religion�so I go outside at night to paint the stars."
In May 1889, Van Gogh decided to enter the asylum at Saint-R�my, where he stayed for the next year. His time there was very productive, although interrupted by incapacitating nervous attacks. Inspired by the landscape surrounding the asylum, he painted Starry Night in June 1889. Unlike the earlier Starry Night Over the Rhone, the new night scene was painted in daylight, from memory. In mid-September 1889, following a heavy crisis which lasted from mid-July to the last days of August, he thought to include Starry 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, including Starry Night. These three went to Paris with the shipment that followed.When Theo did not immediately report its arrival, Vincent inquired again and finally received Theo's commentary on his recent work.
Van Gogh was not so happy with the painting. In a letter to his brother Theo from Saint-R�my he wrote:
� The first four canvases are studies without the effect of a whole that the others have . . . The olives with white clouds and background of mountains, also the moonrise and the night effect, these are exaggerations from the point of view of arrangement, their lines are warped as that of old wood. �
Later in this letter, Vincent referred once more to the painting:
� In all this batch I think nothing at all good save the field of wheat, the mountain, the orchard, the olives with the blue hills and the portrait and the entrance to the Quarry, and the rest says nothing to me, because it lacks individual intention and feeling in the lines. Where these lines are close and deliberate it begins to be a picture, even if it is exaggerated. That is a little what Bernard and Gauguin feel, they do not ask the correct shape of a tree at all, but they insist absolutely that one can say if the shape is round or square - and my word, they are right, exasperated as they are by certain people's photographic and empty perfection. Certainly they will not ask the correct tone of the mountains, but they will say: In the Name of God, the mountains were blue, were they? Then chuck on some blue and don't go telling me that it was a blue rather like this or that, it was blue, wasn't it? Good - make them blue and it's enough! Gauguin is sometimes like a genius when he explains this, but as for the genius Gauguin has, he is very timid about showing it, and it is touching the way he likes to say something really useful to the young. How strange he is all the same.
December 2nd, 2013
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