"The Starry Night" by Vincent Van Gogh (1853-1890)
Dutch. Oil on Canvas of June 1889, size 72cm x 92cm.

"Starry Night" was completed near the mental asylum of Saint-Remy, 13 months before Van Gogh's death at the age of 37. Vincent's mental instability is legend. He attempted to take Paul Gauguin's life and later committed himself to several asylums in hopes of an unrealized cure.

Van Gogh painted furiously and "The Starry Night" vibrates with rockets of burning yellow while planets gyrate like cartwheels. The hills quake and heave, yet the cosmic gold fireworks that swirl against the blue sky are somehow restful.

This painting is probably the most popular of Vincent's works.

The notes above are from a card supplied with a painted coffee cup which D.Wells received in December 1993 as a Christmas present. This version of the image was copied in July 1994 by Daniel Egret from Le WebLouvre. 'The Starry Night' is in the collection of the Museum of Modern Art in New York, which has a Web page on the painting (including an excellent JPEG of it). Their page contains links to audio and text versions of quotations from Van Gogh's letter to his brother concerning the painting.

dwells@nrao.edu last changed this page 1999-06-15.