Painted a couple of months after his arrival int he south of France. this is perhaps the lesser known of Van Gogh's two "starry night" scenes. It is also a significantly calmer, more harmonious painting than the one completed a year later, while still retaining its creator's typically manic edge. Inspired by a walk at night, Van Gogh seems to have experienced a kind of hyper-reality when confronted by grass, water, and sky in close combination. It is certainly striking how these three elements fuse into one dynamic whole. For once Van Gogh also felt confident that he had rendered natures's beauty in paint successfully. Such pleasure with his own efforts was not always evident. He once confessed to Theo that "what often vexes me is that painting is like having a bad mistress who spends and spends and it's never enough, and I tell myself that even if a tolerable study comes out of it from time to time, it would have been much cheaper to buy it from someone else." Whether this quote was meant as self-deprecating rhetoric or an indication of genuine self-disgust, Van Gogh's desire to paint never really waned. Although he only took up painting at a relatively late age of 28, from then on it was a vital part of his life with a distinctly therapeutic value. A canvas like this in fact epitomises the joy which painting inspired in him. Like the silhouetted couple in the foreground, it seems to revel in the romantic, celebratory nature of starlight.