Visual Design Essay example

Submitted By sage21
Words: 403
Pages: 2

Van Gogh’s arrived in Arles in February 1888. In this small Provençal town and the surrounding countryside he was to spend an extraordinarily productive period painting, drawing and writing. Van Gogh created the artwork while on the river banks. The spot where he painted it was close to a house he was renting at the time. The view that the observer sees are the houses from the east side of the Rhone in the evening. His work, ‘Starry Night’ is oil on canvas and features strong, definitive brush strokes with use of broken colour. Van Gogh preferred painting outdoors and was fascinated by the night sky and the effects of light at night, one of his favorite subjects.

What can you see?
What stands out the most in the ‘Starry Night over the Rhone’ painting is the gas lighting reflecting off the water as a couple strolls nearby in the foreground of the painting. This work reveals all the marvelous colours of the sky, the reflections of the scene and the striking contrast between the natural beauty of the stars and the artificial gas lights. the street lanterns along the water's edge of the Rhône shed enough light to enable Van Gogh to paint from direct observation. Even so, Van Gogh manipulated reality to a certain degree in order to create an even more impressive firmament. From his point of view the town of Arles lay to the south west; the constellation of the Great Bear (Big Dipper) that he painted in the sky was actually in the north (behind him).