The first piece of art we will be talking about today is a very famous painting painted by Vincent Van Gogh, Starry Night. This painting has been replicated so many times on so many different things such as hats, backpacks, cups, and much more. This painting was Van Gogh’s view when he was staying at the Saint-Paul-de-Mausole asylum, in France. He was put their after having a mental breakdown and cutting off his own ear with a razor. Vincent was an artist that perferred to paint by observing but he was limited to things around him like his mental illness, his views in the countryside and outside his studio. After painting Starry Night, Van Gogh sent his brother Theo a letter explaning the painting. According to encychlopidia Britannica, in the letter he says that “the night was more colourful than day and that stars were more than simple white dots on black, instead appearing yellow, pink, or green.” He also describes his view from his room at the asylum and tells his brother how beautiful it was in the morning as well. Starry Night was painted from Van Gogh’s memory because he was not aloud to paint in his room. At a point Van Gogh had thought of Starry Night as a failure because he had mixed emotions about painting from his imagination.Van Gogh paints this using oil colors as most of his other paintings were also using oil colors. Vincent Van Gogh committed suicide later that following year, but he left over 800 paintings to his brother Theo. Van Gogh’s art career wasn’t as long as other artist, infact it only lasted about 10 years. The painting is 2? 5? x 3? 0? and is now located at the Museum of Modern Art in New York City. Starry Night wasn’t famous in the 1940’s but became one of the most known paintings from all over the world and is now worth about over $100 million. Not only the painting but Van Gogh also became one of the most influecing artist and many have tried following his footsteps into the art world.
The next painting we will be talking about is another very well known painting, The Scream painted by Edvard Munch in 1893. The painting is size at 66 x 83 cm and is kept at The Munch Museum, Oslo. This painting is the second most iconic human figure painted, first being the Mona Lisa painted by Leonardo Da Vinci. This painting was sold for $120 million at an auction in 2012. There are four versions of this painting, the first was done in oil, tempera, and pastel on cardboard in 1893 which is located in National Gallery of Art, Oslo. After that there are two other pastel examples that are part of a private collection done in 1893 and 1895. The final one is also a tempera painting also located at National Gallery of Art, Oslo. Along with the Mona Lisa, The scream painting was also stolen and later retreived again. According to an article written by Khan Achademy, there was a journal entery found in Much’s diary that could have been a possible inpiration for the famous Scream painting. The passage said, “I was walking along the road with two friends, the sun went down, I felt a gust of melancholy, suddenly the sky turned a bloody red. I stopped, leaned against the railing, tired to death, as the flaming skies hung like blood and sword over the blue-black fjord and the city, My friends went on, I stood there trembling with anxiety, and I felt a vast infinite scream tear through nature.” It is said that the man in the painting could possibly be Edvard Munch himself. Although there are a lot of other theories out there trying to figure our Munch’s inspiration of the whole painting, but no one is certain. Some art historians say the figure is a resembleance of a Peruvian Mummy that is exhibited in World’s fair Paris, that has been inspiration to other artist as well.
Although Starry Night and The Scream are painting by two different artists, there are some similarties between the two paintngs. One of the most common things between the two painting is the emotion. Edvard Munch uses expressive style to paint this paining. According to an article by Study Moose expressionism in art is looked at the pyscholgical and emotional state of art. The use of irregular shapes and disorted images respresented anxiety and terror, which is visiable in The Scream. It focuses on the bald man and lacks detail in the water. This goes back to his diary entry which explained his panic attack. The Starry Night was painted by imagination and the feeling that Van Gogh got when he saw the scene from his room. Both painting contain a lot of emotion from both artist. They both also use the impasto technique which allows us to the movement in the painting and the realism and abstraction. Both paintings were also oil painting and used the medium of pigments in dry oils. They both also use the same dark color scheme to give it a dark feeling.
There are some simliatires but the painting are reallly different. In the Starry Night, Van Gogh uses a technique called pointillism. This technique began in the post- impresionism period, it uses dots to add more depth to art. Going back to the emotion topic, they both use different types of emotions. Edvard Munch uses his panic attack and shares that within the painting The Scream. But Van Gogh kind of uses a calm feel to the painting. According to Study Moose he might be trying to say that “there is a calm town in the distance, like Van Gogh felt that he was out of touch with the rest of the world, but felt some comfort in the view of the skies.”
In conclusion I feel both painting are very beautiful in their own ways. I also feel that both paintings are more similar than different, from the medium used to the actual meaning behind the paintings. They both have strong emotion behind them, both dealing with mental health issues. Vincent with his mental issues and Edvard with his anxiety. They both do such an amazing job putting their feelings down on a canvas and let art take its toll of the paintings.