August 19, 2018

Old Lyme Library Presents Program Today on Van Gogh’s ‘Starry Night’

‘Starry Night’ by Vincent van Gogh.

The Old Lyme-Phoebe Griffin Noyes Library hosts a program presented by Robert Baldwin titled, ‘Van Gogh’s Starry Night: From Spiritualized Nature to Higher Abstraction,’ on Saturday, May 19, at 1 p.m. 

Inspired by Gauguin’s artistic group in Brittany, Vincent van Gogh traveled to the south of France to revitalize his art by returning to his early subject matter – pre-modern landscapes and peasants – now painted with a Post-Impressionist abstraction grounded in the artist’s imagination.

This talk examines Starry Night in the broad picture of larger artistic trends since Romanticism (1790-1850) and the rise of Symbolism as an artistic movement (1888-1915). With its peaceful village, starry skies, and visionary abstraction, Starry Night moved from traditional community to Romantic celestial community to a distinctly modern community of kindred spirits born from shared artistic experience.
Like the mid-19th-century inscription chiseled on the façade of two slightly later art museums, Starry Night goes beyond sublime nature in proclaiming: “Art still has truth, Take refuge there.”
Robert Baldwin is an Associate Professor of Art History at Connecticut College.
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