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Interned in the asylum at Saint-Rémy, the fraught painter gazed from his cell window at an equally turbulent sky. Vincent Van Gogh painted The “Starry Night” in June 1889, just one month after committing himself to the sanatorium in the hope of managing his frequent bouts of psychosis. Having expressed a desire to paint the sky a year previously in his ethereal canvas Starry Night Over the Rhone, the resulting second attempt is a magnificent vortex of expressive power that seems to engulf the vulnerable countryside beneath. His stark and unusual use of complimentary colors -blues, oranges, yellows, and purples — reinforces the staggering brightness that escapes through the dark of night. It is a landscape that is both idyllic and threatening. The restless sky recalls a stormy sea, with its waves ready to break, and the strong winds that seem to power the vortex violently ruffle the cypress trees in the foreground. Usually taken as a token of the artist’s foreboding, The “Starry Night” is in fact a stunning testament to the capacity for human hope. With earnest faith in his ability to get better, Van Gogh’s fate was by no means sealed. Taking to the easel to assuage his nervous attacks, each of the artist’s canvases must be taken as a glimmer of light in an ever-descending blanket of darkness. Like the shining stars that light up the land and jostle with the moon, so too did Van Gogh attempt to make his art triumph over his inner demons.