Widely hailed as Van Gogh's magnum opus, the painting depicts the view outside his sanatorium room window at night, although it was painted from memory during the day. Since 1941 it has been in the permanent collection of the
Museum of Modern Art in New York City.
Starry Night by Vincent van Gogh has risen to the peak of artistic achievements. Although Van Gogh sold only one painting in his life, the aftermath of his work is enormous. Starry Night is one of the most well known images in modern culture as well as being one of the most replicated and sought after prints. From Don McLean's song 'Starry, Starry Night' (Based on the Painting), to the endless number of merchandise products sporting this image, it is nearly impossible to shy away from this amazing painting.
The center part shows the village of Saint-Rémy under a swirling sky, in a view from the asylum towards north. The Alpilles far to the right fit to this view, but there is little rapport of the actual scene with the intermediary hills which seem to be derived from a different part of the surroundings, south of the asylum. The cypress tree to the left was added into the composition. Of note is the fact van Gogh had already, during his time in Arles, repositioned Ursa Major from the north to the south in his painting Starry Night Over the Rhone.