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Starry night over the Rhone

Starry Night over the Rhone is one of Vincent van Gogh 's famous paintings of Arles at night. Vincent's fascination with the heavens and stars were the inspiration for some of his most famous paintings, including Cafe Terrace at Night and The Starry Night. This period in Arles was one of the most productive in Vincent van Gogh's short career. His painting of Cafe Terrace at Night preceeded Starry Night over the Rhone by less than a month. The Starry Night was painted in June of the following year.

The challenge of painting at night intrigued Van Gogh. The perspective he chose for Starry Night over the Rhone allowed him to capture the reflections of the gas lighting in Arles across the glimmering blue water of the Rhone. The sky above is illuminated by the constellation known as the Great Bear. In the fore ground, two lovers enjoy the soft, soothing night light as they stroll by the banks of the river.

Depicting color was of great importance to Vincent. In letters to his brother, Theo van Gogh, he often described objects in his paintings in terms of color. His night paintings, including Starry Night over the Rhone, emphasize the importance he placed in capturing the sparkling colors of the night sky and the artificial lighting that was new to this period.

Oil on canvas
72.5 x 92.0 cm
Arles 1888
Musée d'Orsay Paris

Read more ... closer look at Van Gogh's Art Techniques

Starry Night Over the Rhone by Vincent van Gogh
The Vincent van Gogh Paintings Project