Van Gogh Starry Night vase small
The Starry Night (1889)
'This does not detract from the tremendous need for, shall I say the word - religion - so I go outside at night to paint the stars' (From a letter to his brother Theo, 1888).
The painting shows the night sky as seen from Van Gogh's room in the lunatic asylum in Saint-Rémy-de-Provence, where he was admitted voluntarily for a year shortly before his death. The asylum was located in a spacious, old monastery where there was also space for a studio. It was here that Van Gogh created many sketches and paintings, of which The Starry Night has become, retrospectively, one of the most iconic works of art history.