Starry Night Over the Rhone, 1888 by Vincent van Gogh

Starry Night Over the Rhone of three paintings mode during the some month that incorporate the night sky and stars as fundamentally symbolic elements. Van Gogh also painted Cafe Terrace at Night, and a portrait of his friend Eugene Boch (1855-1941), that was perhaps the most symbolic of the three. Here his stars glow with a luminescence, shining from the dark, blue and velvety night sky. Dotted along the banks of the Rhone houses also radiate a light that reflects in the water and adds to the mysterious atmosphere of the painting. The year after painting this Vincent wrote to Theo explaining his fascination with stars, 'For my part I know nothing with any certainty, but the sight of the stars makes me dream, in the same simple way as I dream about the black dots representing towns and villages on a map. Why I ask myself, should the shining dots in the sky be any less accessible to us than the block dots on the map of France? If we take the train to get to Tarascon or Rouen, then we take death to go to a star.'