The village is European, although of the mentioned coloring book quality, reflecting Van Gogh's origins in Holland and his time in Paris.
The spatial elements of "Starry Night" are all related in terms of the distinctive swirling movement of the sky, foreground trees and smaller clumps of trees amid the houses. Van Gogh has used a very simple perspective with foreground, midground, and background, but aside from this rudimentary depth, the painting is essentially flat in appearance. The composition is beautifully balanced, even to the tall foreground trees echoing the church steeple, both cutting through the vigorous swirls. The church cuts through the landscape, and the deep green trees cut through the skyscape, both serving as vertical anchors to the wild circular movement. The central unifying element in "Starry Night", as in most of Van Gogh's work, is the value of movement among the brilliant colors. He evidently painted very quickly and with great force, revealing his known passionate temperament.
"Starry Night" communicates to the viewer the painter's strong reality of a rich, active inner world, as opposed to a photographic realistic painting of a greeting card landscape. It says to the viewer that Van Gogh painted with urgency. He apparently was one of those creative souls who was driven by an almost demonic force from within that led him to structure his life around the need to express. It does not seem to be the intention of the artist to show a nice picture of a country landscape but more to purge his incredible energy, using the outer worldly forms of hills, trees, and buildings as mere vehicles for the paint to spill onto the canvas. However, it seems that the subject matter is secondary to the style. The painting could have easily been an abstract consisting completely of the wild sky forms. The slight hint of realism in the landscape area serves more to c