Depicting color was deeply important to post-Impressionist master Vincent van Gogh (1883-1953), whose "Starry Night Over the Rhone," and "Starry Night" was his answer to the challenge of painting at night.
Van Gogh, whose work impacted modern Expressionism, Fauvism and early Abstraction, was an astoundingly prolific artist who produced his vast body of work in a mere 10 years, at one point creating 150 paintings and drawings within one year. The night sky, and the effects of light at night, were subjects of many of van Gogh's most famous paintings. He also relished painting outdoors, and the uplifting effect nature had upon him fed his creativity. The vantage point he chose for "Starry Night Over the Rhone" allowed him to capture the glow of gas lighting across the shimming water of the Rhone, as well as illumination from the constellation Ursa Major.
Both "Starry Night Over the Rhone" and "Starry Night" were significant achievements in capturing the nuances of night colors and shadows, as well as the artificial lighting which was new to this era.
"I want to touch people with my art. I want them to say 'he feels deeply, he feels tenderly."
- Vincent Van Gogh