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Is There a Yin/Yang Symbol Within Starry Night?

  • Greg Saucier, writes: "An interesting observation about Starry Night, is that the large, swirling cloud mass in the center of the painting has a very strong resemblance to the Oriental Yin & Yang symbol (there's also a smaller one to the right). To illustrate this, I superimposed an electronic overlay of a translucent Yin/Yang over the central cloud mass, as you can see from the resulting modified image above. Since Vincent was influenced by Japanese art, perhaps he included the symbol consciously. But we may never know for sure."

    - Greg Saucier, Graphic Designer & Painter

  • Gwendol Bowling adds: "It seems to me that one thing that we can agree on is Vincent's ability to 'tap' into 'universals.' I think that Carl Jung dealt with this in the book Man and His Symbols. He dealt quite extensively with mandalas, etc. Perhaps, this ability to see so many things within Vincent's works is what is most intriguing of all."

  • Falken Forshaw comments: "I conducted a study on a hunch about Starry Night as I went about including it in a course I teach, 'Archaeoastronomy and Western Art.' I was very intrigued that both a planetarium was used to analyze the painting as well as the notice of the Yin Yang. I overlayed some straight line connections between celestial objects and the Yin Yang, starting with the painting's diagonals, which intersect at the bottom of the Yin Yang circle. I found the objects are aligned in more ways that two. I think Van Gogh could have layed out Starry Night with geometry possibly through earlier training, books on art available (this has a long and venerable tradition, and/or through his artist friends."

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