This oil on canvas resembles the artist's work of one year later--"Road with Cypress and Star." The resemblance lies in subject matter (landscape, evergreen trees, and swirling sky), but more importantly, one sees the progression of Van Gogh's personal sense of urgency and agitation. The wavy lines seem to barely stay within the paintings. Every line of these paintings is restless, bumping up against the next form within the works. 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 fo