Vincent Van Gogh's Starry Night Over The Rhone

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To be human is to fall under the obligation of the complexities and psychological intricacies of the species. This has always been a foundational aspect of our kind, and one that has proven to allow for continual advancement in our world. With these complexities, however, comes a desire for a knowledge or connection with that which exists beyond the material world. Often this manifests itself through a contemplation of nature. It is frequently explained as a spiritual journey and can offer glimpses of a unity with the universe, an ultimate reality, or the divine. During the 1880s to the 1930s, many artists in Europe, North America and Scandinavia sought for themselves this spiritual journey. Dissatisfied with the social norms of materialism, secularism and dependence …show more content…
Through the audio guides provided, it is mentioned that Van Gogh saw his paintings as his ministry and service. Art was a way for the painter to find a deep connection to his soul and the divine, and the subject matter he chose to portray was often tied to his connotations of Christianity. The Olive Trees (the one painting shown is part of a series) creates a parallel to Christ in the garden of Gethsemane, and further illustrates how the artist interacted with his faith through nature. Starry Night Over the Rhone is one of Van Gogh’s most famous works, yet the fact that it was spiritually inspired escapes many. It is said that starlight inspired Van Gogh’s faith in God, and he once wrote in a letter to his brother, “When I have an immense need for religion, I go out into the night, in the open, and paint the stars.” (Adams & Beach 259) As stated by John Franklin in his essay, “The works of Vincent van Gogh offer a vision of the world filled with a vital presence that allows us -if only for a moment- to catch a glimpse of the transcendent.” (Franklin