Paint the Sky with Van Gogh

On the over-arching subject of Symbolism, I’d have to say I am a fan. Beautiful colours and images which ultimately stand for something much deeper and more heartfelt than what is in front of you; colours and symbols which are meant to touch people around the world and bring them together using one piece of art. When it happens successfully, it’s truly amazing.

Take Vincent Van Gogh’s Starry Night (below), a piece recognised across time and place that enlists a quieting of the mind and moment of inner peace, which ultimately stirs in some of us a recognition of the fact that there may be more than just this life. However, some, namely Boy Meets World’s Cory Matthews, view this painting as an attack, a war over a small town. What do you see? More, how does it make you feel?

Vincent van Gogh, The Starry Night, 1889.
Oil on canvas, 73.7 x 92.1 cm.
Museum of Modern Art, New York.

Many Symbolists found modern cities over-bearing and claustrophobic, taking solace in open and expansive bodies of land, water, and sky. Who could blame them, what is more likely to make you smile from the inside out? Massive buildings, smog, and honking horns? Or tall, green trees swaying in the breeze, running barefoot in uncut grasses, and the sun on your face?

Feeling stuck in a season or landscape? Get yourself over to the National Gallery of Scotland before 14 October 2012 and check out all of the Symbolist landscape artists including Van Gogh. Also bring this ebook along to compare with the passing scenery on the way: Vincent van Gogh.

-Le Lorrain Andrews

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