Many artists (yes, that includes photographers) often look outside their chosen art for inspiration. I know many photographers who look to music (especially jazz and blues) for inspiration. But let's not forget about the other visual arts, especially painting.
"It often seems to me that the night is much more alive and richly colored than the day," van Gogh wrote to his brother Theo in 1888
(The Starry Night, by Vincent van Gogh)Van Gogh
's most famous paintings include his night work The Starry Night (1889)
and The Night Cafe
. But an article in this month's issue of Smithsonian
magazine discusses some of his other great night paintings, including The Starry Night over the Rhone
. The article was published to coincide with a show dedicated to Van Gogh's night painting. According to fellow famous impressionist Pissarro
, "[Van Gogh] lived at night. He didn't sleep until three or four in the morning. . . . He [often] meditated over the very rich associations that he saw in the night."
Sounds like a case of Nocturnalism to me!
(Starry Night over the Rhone, by Vincent Van Gogh)
"Van Gogh and the Colors of Night" will be on display at the New York City's Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) through January 5, 2009 (that's right... it's open for one whole more week!), then it moves to Amsterdam's Van Gogh Museum for four months.