Starry Night Over the Rhone : 1888 – Vincent Van Gogh

Starry Night Over the Rhone was painted at a spot on the banks of the river which was only a minute or two’s walk from ‘The Yellow House’ on the Place Lamartine which Van Gogh was renting at the time. 

The challenge of painting at night intrigued Van Gogh. The vantage point 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 gas lights and their reflections in the river were a relatively new phenomenon in Arles. Paris itself had only been lit at night since around 1853. 

In the foreground, two lovers stroll by the banks of the river. Here his stars glow with a luminescence, shining from the dark, blue and velvety night sky. Dotted along the banks of the Rhone houses also radiate a light that reflects in the water and adds to the mysterious atmosphere of the painting.

The blue and yellow hues in the painting also complement each other in terms of temperature. By juxtaposing yellow against blue, Van Gogh adeptly conveys how the heat of the lights burns upon the cold water.

The places where Van Gogh set up his easel to do his plein air paintings are now part of the Van Gogh Tour in Arles.

His other works :

Café Terrace at Night – Vincent Van Gogh (1888)

Miners in the Snow – Vincent Van Gogh

Lust for Life – Irving Stone (Van Gogh’s Biography)

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Disclaimer: This blog post contains an affiliate link, meaning, at no additional cost to you, I will earn a commission, if you click through and make a purchase.