I was poking around the web tonight and came across this van Gogh “starry night” painting on Astronomy Picture of the Day. Here is the full page devoted to this painting on the site. Neither my wife nor I knew this painting, and she’s the one with a degree (among others) in Art History. Everyone is familiar with van Gogh’s other, more famous Starry Night. But his view of gaslit Arles reflected on the Rhône under a starlit sky is breathtaking.
When I first saw it, I tried to resist falling into an art trance. Remaining objective is impossible. Every brush stroke is inevitable, perfect and transcendent. The best van Gogh always has me choking back tears, and I don’t quite know why, except that his soul seems to be bared in every daub on the canvas. Van Gogh pulls at my heart like no other artist, and I suppose I had to say something about it, if for no other reason than to break the ice after too long away from my own neglected blog.