Van Gogh painted Starry Night when he was in an asylum at Saint Rémy in 1889 and was confined to his room there.

So the scene is based on his memory, rather than a particular view of the town he depicts. It is a very dramatic scene and was painted at the height of his productive work and captures his sense of the splendor of stars, a motif found in other of his works.


Starry Starry night
Paint your palette blue and gray
Look out on a summer’s day
With eyes that know the darkness in my soul
Shadows on the hills
Sketch the trees and the daffodils
Catch the breeze and the winter chills
In colors on the snowy linen land.

– – – Don McLean “Vincent”