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).