Secrets behind Vincent van Gogh’’s night works revealed

October 9th, 2008 - 5:37 pm ICT by ANI  

London, Oct 9 (ANI): The story of the technical challenges that Vincent van Gogh faced while creating “The Starry Night” and other nocturnal scenes is the subject of an exhibition on view at New York’’s Museum of Modern Art.

It studies how the Dutch master figured out how to paint by moonlight and the colouring techniques he invented to replicate the night sky on canvas.

The work will remain at the New York museum for exhibition until 5 January, reports BBC.

The show begins with early paintings from around 1880, when van Gogh, who started painting at the relatively late age of 27, was still living in the Netherlands. The landscapes are flat, the colours muted, the mood sombre.

It was only after his exposure in Paris to the brilliant canvases of the impressionists that van Gogh adopted the vibrant palette and thick, rhythmic brushstrokes that marked his later style.

One masterpiece, Cafe Terrace at Night, was made when the painter defeated the darkness by setting up his easel under the outdoor gas lamps of a cafe.

He also positioned himself on the bank of a river, where the distant lights provided enough illumination for him to paint Starry Night over the Rhone.

Starry Night, the most famous of his night scenes was painted while he was in an asylum and forbidden to go out at night.

Its swirling brushstrokes and eerie luminescence depict a skyline largely drawn from the artist’’s memories of Provence.

It was one of van Gogh’’s last great paintings before he killed himself in 1890 at the age of just 37. (ANI)

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