Starry Night Over the Rhone was painted by Vincent van Gogh in 1888. Van Gogh originally described this image to friends as a cheerful picture of two lovers walking along the banks of the famous Rhone River at night. Behind the couple are boats and many reflections of the city lights on the surface of the water. Van Gogh created this oil painting at night in order to study and accurately capture the details of the night sky, including the Great Bear constellation that could be viewed from his apartment window in Place Lamartine.
Most interesting about this post-impressionistic painting is that Van Gogh started it at a happy time in his life – describing the colors in vibrant detail as aquamarine, blues, purples and gold. By the time it was finished, more than a year later, the colors remain in the same palette but seem to have darkened somewhat from what he originally imagined. Many also believe that as Van Gogh’s depression worsened during the creation of Starry Night Over the Rhone, the mood of the painting changed as well. It is now unknown if Van Gogh ultimately viewed the couple as those same lovers on a stroll, or if in his mind they became a couple in peril on the edge of dangerous waters.
Though the intent of this painting has been debated for years, there is no doubt that the blues and yellows used by Van Gogh would make a beautiful addition to any living room or family room – and also a great conversation piece. Starry Night Over the Rhone on canvas would complement any contemporary home, and a gold frame would be the perfect finishing touch for a more traditional décor style.