History of Stars in Painting. Art, Sun, Moon and Stars.
The first Egyptian and Babylonian astronomers are very motivated by their religious beliefs.
The Egyptians are undoubtedly the first to discover that the Sun is found with the same position compared to stars in roughly 365 days.
On the papyruses one finds representations of stars.
As of the second front millenium J- C, the Babylonians had drawn up a list of the constellations which rose and lay down with the Sun during the year.
According to Babylonian cosmogony, the Mardouk god would have created the skies and the Earth by reversing Tiamat, the paramount Chaos represented here like a dragon.
In South America civilizations Mayas and Azteques observe stars and work out calendars and a system of zodiacs.
The Greek scientist Ptolemee thought that the Earth had a central position in the Universe and that the another planets turned around it.
In 1570 Tintoret illustrates in a poetic way the origin of our galaxy, the Milky Way. Indeed, according to the Greek myth, one sees Zeus (Jupiter), which brings Heracles (Hercules), drinking the milk of the bosom of Hera (Junon) to make it immortal. From where the name of Hercules in Greek, Heracles: “ the glory of Hera ”. However Hercules is continued all his life by the hatred of Héra, marries and sister of Zeus, drunk of jealousy and anger because of the perpetual inaccuracies of her husband. Hercules is indeed the fruit of the union of the queen Alcmene and Zeus (Jupiter). The escaped milk of its bosom is at the origin of the creation of the Milky Way. One distinguishes the stars which are the milk drops.
At the 16th Century the system of Copernic rests primarily on the assertions which the ground turns on its axis in one day and makes the turn of the Sun in one year. But the concept of a mobile Ground is difficult to accept for the majority of the readers of the time. Copernic will have only 10 followers between 1543 and 1600. Most famous are Galileo and the German astronomer Johannes Kepler.
Before the impressionists oblige the painters to leave the workshops the representation of the stars of the sky remained figurative a long time. The setting sun is represented such as it is, which interests the artist it is the play of the colors and the romantic environment of the moment fixed on the painting. Corot, as a creative landscape designer of atmospheres starts to use the reflections and the light of the stars to give to its works a personal key. Regarded as the father of impressionism Eugene Boudin is interested highly so that it occurs in the sky at the seaside. The orange gleam of a setting sun then influences all the colors of the painting. It is Boudin who in the open air initiates Monet with painting in Le Havre, where the first qualified painting of impressionist was carried out. This red sun of Monet clarifies the totality of the sky of the painting and its reflection comes towards us as if it sailed with the current. The capacity of Monet and the impressionists to translate the movements of the light, here sun, mainly explains the success of their works and the movement. Monet just like Turner uses the sun and the fog to represent the atmospheric effects and their influences on the light and the colors at certain times. Monet paints also the night. But the sky is cloudy and the only visible reflections in water are the lights of the port. The first to paint seriously the night it is Vincent Van Gogh, in September 1888, in Arles, The Cafe Terrace at Night and the Starry night on the Rhone. Attention to paint the night in outside is not thing easy, it is necessary to light with the candle, the light of the reverberators of the time is not enough. In the other hand Vincent holds his knife and its pallet is posed meadows of him. One imagines the dexterity which it is necessary for the artist, his candle in a hand and its knife in the other, especially within sight of the result. In The Cafe Terrace at Night the stars resemble flowers which illuminate a sky of a sometimes major blue but changing. The stabs of the painter are rather broad and the texture of painting is thick, the details and the lines are carried out with the point and the edges of the knife. For the Starry night on the Rhone the floral aspect of stars is always there but this time dahlias rather are identified. By examining the painting of near with the zoom one realizes that the stabs of Vincent for the sky, water, and the reflections of the lights in water are in great majority horizontal. To the bottom of work, near the 2 characters the stabs go down a little. The Starry Night in June 1889 is completely different. One distinguishes the Moon and Venus clearly. Work is moving, any bulge nothing is not static.
To express the glare and the brightness of stars the painter splits his key in concentric circles and spirals. The large central spiral is the reproduction of the Large Wave of Kanagawa (1831) of Katsushika Hokusai, Van Gogh sees in the sky what the Master of the “ floating world ” represents in water.
In Metamorphosis (2012), the Beaudier Painter reinterprets the Starry Night of Van Gogh but contrary, because if the movement is always present it is represented in the opposite direction. Van Gogh seeks to aspire the glance the Beaudier Painter projects the light, and if these 2 artists give movement to nature it is because they feel well the force which resides in it.
The sun of the Red Vineyard (1888) lights the painting of a fawn-coloured light, almost unreal, the subject of the White House the Night (1890) is more the Moon than the house.
The surrealist painters, like here Vladimir Kush, show us that the stars can also become a subject of humor. In Premonition (1953), Maria Remedios Varo makes planets the energy source which leads the world. The artists use today the stars of the sky for their symbolic range. They have talent, which they continue thus a long time to clarify our nights with their works.