Art & History

Starry Night Over the Rhone – Van Gogh | Painting & Facts

Starry Night Over the Rhone – Vincent Van Gogh | Painting & Facts

Starry Night Over the Rhone (September 1888) is one of Vincent van Gogh’s paintings of Arles at nighttime. It was painted at a spot on the bank of the Rhone River that was only a one or two-minute walk from the Yellow House on the Place Lamartine which Van Gogh was renting at the time.

The night sky and the effects of light at night provided the subject for some of his more famous paintings, including Cafe Terrace at Night (painted earlier the same month) and the later canvas from Saint-Rémy, The Starry Night.

A sketch of the painting is included in a letter van Gogh sent to his friend Eugène Boch on October 2, 1888.


Starry Night Over the Rhone

Facts About Painting

  • Evened Visual Weight

    A closer look at the Starry Night Over the Rhone painting reveals that Vincent gave equal visual weight to all the things that he painted. He did not exploit variations of elements like color intensity, paint texture, and dynamic movement. In this painting there is no visual distinction between the earth and the sky. For instance, the light from the stars is reflected together with that of the city lights in the Rhone River.

  • Presence of Humans

    Inclusion of human forms in this painting has a lot of significance because they add a touch of natural quality. They also enable the painting to have a natural environmental setting that is pleasurable to look at.

  • Present Forms

    Vincent drew the original painting on a canvas material. However, hand-painted reproductions by various artists today are widely available. Equally, Starry Night Over the Rhone painting has been reproduced in various computerized printouts and sold all over the world to interested art collectors.

  • Significant Features

    Trying to understand the significance of this painting may help in highlighting why it is still popular today. Notably, it was produced at a time when Vincent felt that he needed religious guidance. The painting is usually classified alongside a collection of Vincent’s Starry Night paintings. However, it stands out from the rest because it has human forms and is considered to be the cornerstone painting that gave Vincent his approach to other Starry Night paintings. Some of the important features that are bound by the painting include: evened visual weight, presence of humans, and present forms.



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