Art has always been one of the most complex subjects of human perception due to the multiplicity of concepts encoded in a single detail of an artwork. Some researchers believe that the idea embedded in the painting by the author should be considered by the recipient before the appreciation for better understanding and respect for the author (Carroll, 2016). Hence, when speaking of works of Vincent van Gogh, it would be safe to assume that the latter appreciation form is, by all means, more applicable to post-impressionist art.
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To begin with, it is of crucial importance to examine one of van Gogh’s works to obtain a general understanding of his artistic heritage. Thus, Starry Night, one of his most notorious works, is an oil-on-canvas painting made in 1889 (Encyclopedia Britannica, 2020). The painting itself is an artistic combination of cold and warm color palettes that exist in symbiosis with abstract whirls. Despite the abstraction, the work itself may be easily described in detail, as any observer is capable of noticing the sky, the moon, trees that distantly remind one of flame, and the village landscape in the back.
At first glance, this oil-on-canvas painting serves as a celebration of a rather abstract landscape painting, where the author allows himself to manipulate the forms and structure of the landscape details. However, with no background analyzed, it is difficult to outline the true significance behind the painting besides the impressionist style and peculiarities of the medium. Once the recipient is aware of the fact that the following painting was made during van Gogh’s stay at the asylum after another nervous breakdown, the perception obtains a completely new perspective. Moreover, the vibrance of colors depicted in the painting is appreciated differently once realizing that the author was diagnosed with lobe epilepsy before the process of creation (Bailey, 2018). Hence, having considered everything, it may be concluded that the art appreciation of Vincent van Gogh’s sophisticated paintings such as Starry Night requires some background knowledge.
Bailey, M. (2018). Starry Night: Van Gogh at the asylum. White Lion Publishing.
Carroll, N. (2016). Art appreciation. Journal of Aesthetic Education, 50(4), 1-14.
Encyclopedia Britannica. (2020). The Starry Night. Web.