I admit this turbulent night sky, the globes of stars and moon, and the rising black smoky, tree-like thing in the foreground only impressed me as “a famous painting by that Van Gogh guy who cut off his ear.” However, I have lately run across articles about Van Gogh which show a different side of the artist. Yes, he had serious physical and mental health issues. But some of his letters speak of a serious, thoughtful man, a man concerned about Jesus, about literature, art, and other big issues. In just a few short articles I’ve uncovered a real, complex Van Gogh where only a stereotype had been before. I love it when that happens.
Now I can look at this painting in a new light, seeing past my former label of it. I can re-examine its turbulence and brilliance in view of the artist’s multifaceted nature.