There aren’t many people that haven’t heard the name of Vincent Van Gogh, an artist that’s long been considered as one of the greatest of all time. Van Gogh lived a troubled life, which was often conveyed in the pieces that he created, and would eventually end up penniless and close to madness by the time that his life came to an end.
Over the course of his career, Van Gogh completed a large number of artworks, many of which are regarded as truly priceless, and can only be found in museums and private collections. Above all the rest, his The Starry Night painting is arguably the most famous of them all, and is currently the most valuable on the planet. Here we will look at the sad but interesting story that inspired the creation of The Starry Night.
Van Gogh’s Battle With His Mind
To understand the inspiration behind The Starry Night, it’s necessary to first delve into the demons that haunted Van Gogh for most of his life. Born in the mid 1800s, Van Gogh was the son of minister of the Dutch Reformed Church, the young artist was home-schooled by his mother for most of his early life before being sent to a middle school. It was here that many of his mental health problems began to make their appearance, but also when he began to take an interest in art.
It was a passion that he pursued and would eventually turn into a career, and by the time he was 20, he was doing commissioned work. Although he attempted to become a priest at one point, and even started a family, his constant financial problems – people weren’t able to make money from online gambling casino games back then – and failing relationships took a toll on the artist’s life.
In 1888, Van Gogh suffered from a severe mental breakdown. While it’s not fully understood what transpired, it’s believed to have been related to a year of financial suffering, as well as the complexities of a relationship he had with another artist. It was during this breakdown that he famously self-mutilated and would remove his own ear. In 1889, he had moved to Saint-Paul-de Province, which was an asylum at the time. It was here that he gained inspiration for The Starry Night.
The Starry Night
His most famous piece was inspired by the view of the bedroom on the bottom floor of his studio apartment while at the asylum. He observed the view at different times of the day, and it’s understood that he made 21 varying editions of the view in his work, one of which was The Starry Night, which was also the only one done at night. It was created before sunset sometime in early June, where the sky was unusually bright. Astronomers now believe that part of this brightness was caused by the appearance of Venus in the sky at the time, which is the bright star to the right of the cypress tree. It’s also believed that Van Gogh associated the night sky with death, something that he idealised fairly regularly over his life. Although there has been much speculation behind the reason for its creation, no one is truly sure what was in the artist’s mind when he painted it that night.