Adventures in Art History Adventures in Art    

Lesson 22: The Starry Night

by Vincent van Gogh


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    Adventures in Art History Adventures in Art    

Lesson 22: The Starry Night

by Vincent van Gogh

Directions

Study the painting for one week.

Over the week:

  • Look at the painting.
  • Read the synopsis.
  • Study the vocabulary words.
  • Read about the artist.
  • Practice reciting the names of the artist and the painting.
  • Complete the enrichment activities.
  • Study the review questions.

Synopsis

Vincent van Gogh painted 'The Starry Night' based on the window view from his room in an asylum. Celestial swirls of haloed light shine from the night sky, including a crescent moon, stars, and Venus. A church steeple points upwards from amidst the sleepy village nestled underneath. A twisted cypress tree licks the sky like flames in the foreground. Cypress trees are associated with mourning and death, perhaps because they die when cut back too aggressively.

Vocabulary

Cypress: A type of evergreen tree.
Celestial: Relating to the sky or outer space.
Crescent: The curved shape of the waxing or waning moon.
Venus: The second planet from the sun, between Mercury and Earth.
Steeple: A tall tower of a church or other building.
Village: A group of houses and buildings in a rural area.

Concepts

Vincent van Gogh painted 'The Starry Night.'

  1. Vincent van Gogh was born on March 30, 1853 in Groot-Zundert, Netherlands. See his picture below.
  2. Find Van Gogh's country of birth on the map of Europe below.
  3. Van Gogh mostly taught himself how to paint. Van Gogh stated, 'Painters understand nature and love it, and teach us to see.'
  4. Although he is famous now and his works are worth millions of dollars, he was poor and unknown while alive. Van Gogh had a tough time in life. He suffered from mental illness and spent time in an asylum.
  5. Van Gogh is reputed to have cut off his own ear, although some historians now believe he might have lied to protect his friend and fellow artist, Paul Gauguin, who may have cut Van Gogh's ear off with a sword during an argument.
  6. Van Gogh died in 1890 at the age of 37 in Auvers-sur-Oise, France.

Enrichment

Activity 1: Can You Find It?

During the week, study the painting and find the following:

  • Stars
  • Crescent Moon
  • Church
  • Cypress Tree
  • Houses
  • Hills

Activity 2: Narrate the Painting

  • After studying the painting, narrate the scene shown in the painting aloud using your own words.

Activity 3: Complete Vocabulary Activities

  • While studying the vocabulary words, point them out in the painting.
  • Define each of the vocabulary words in your own words.

Activity 4: Explore the Painting

  • One clear night this week, go outside and look at the stars in the sky.
  • Draw the night sky that you see.

Activity 5: Color the Painting   

  • Click the crayon above, and complete page 29 of 'Kindergarten Art History Coloring Book.'

Review

Question 1

What is the setting of the painting?
1 / 4

Answer 1

Outside in the night overlooking a small village.
1 / 4

Question 2

What do you see in the night sky of the painting?
2 / 4

Answer 2

Stars, a crescent moon, and the planet Venus.
2 / 4

Question 3

What types of buildings do you see in the town?
3 / 4

Answer 3

A church and houses.
3 / 4

Question 4

What other things are in the painting?
4 / 4

Answer 4

A cypress tree and hills in the background.
4 / 4

  1. What is the setting of the painting? Outside in the night overlooking a small village.
  2. What do you see in the night sky of the painting? Stars, a crescent moon, and the planet Venus.
  3. What types of buildings do you see in the town? A church and houses.
  4. What other things are in the painting? A cypress tree and hills in the background.

References

  1. 'Vincent van Gogh.' Wikipedia. Wikipedia.org. n.p.