Everything About Musée d’Orsay Starry Night Painting 

Van Gogh is one of the most celebrated artists in the world and any visitor to Musée d’Orsay has it on their must-see list to witness the famous Starry Night. 

Starry Night is Vincent Van Gogh’s most popular work and often a misunderstood one, too. 

Before you plan to visit the Starry Night at Musée d’Orsay, please note that this museum houses the Starry Night over the Rhone. 

If you are looking for the classic Starry Night painting, we are sorry that you have arrived in the wrong city. 

You might have to visit the Museum of Modern Art in New York to witness the classic Starry Night. 

However, Starry Night Over the Rhone has not failed to find its place in history – thanks to Van Gogh’s skills and the common misconception. 

This article will help you find everything you need to know about Starry Night in Musée d’Orsay. 

Where to Find Starry Night in Musée d’Orsay 

You can find Starry Night in Room 36 of the Upper Level of Musée d’Orsay, where the works of post-impressionist artists are displayed.

Carry a museum map to find the Starry Night in Musée d’Orsay easily. 

The museum’s layout is designed to guide visitors through different art movements chronologically, making it relatively easy to locate specific works. 

In the upper-level room 36 (Niveau supérieur, Salle 36), you can find various other works of art by Vincent Van Gogh. 

This includes Self Portrait, Bedroom in Arles, Church at Auvers, Terrace of a Cafe on Montmartre, Imperial Fritillaries in a Copper Vase, the Dance Hall in Ariles and more.

Here is a map for you to find Starry Night in Musée d’Orsay 

Overview of Starry Night Over the Rhone

Night in Musée d’Orsay
Image: Wikimedia.org

“Starry Night Over the Rhone” is one of Vincent van Gogh’s most enchanting paintings, created in 1888. 

This masterpiece predates the more famous “The Starry Night” by about a year. 

Van Gogh painted “Starry Night Over the Rhone” while he was in Arles, France. 

The painting captures the Rhone River at night, under a star-studded sky that reflects beautifully on the water’s surface. 

The scene includes a couple taking a stroll by the river, adding a human element to the natural and cosmic beauty depicted.

This work is a testament to Van Gogh’s fascination with the night sky, a recurring theme in his work. 

The painting showcases his innovative use of color and brushwork, influencing generations of artists. 

Van Gogh’s ability to convey emotion and beauty in the night sky, blending blues and yellows with masterful strokes, makes this painting a captivating sight.

Significance and Impact of Starry Night Over the Rhone

“Starry Night Over the Rhone” is significant for several reasons. 

Firstly, it represents Van Gogh’s exploration of the night, a subject that fascinated him and to which he would return repeatedly. 

The painting’s composition, with its reflection of the stars in the water, demonstrates Van Gogh’s skill in portraying light and its effects.

Moreover, the painting provides insight into Van Gogh’s emotional state and his perception of beauty and tranquility in the night.

It reflects his ongoing quest for solace and understanding through art. 

The couple’s presence adds a touch of intimacy and relatability, suggesting a shared human experience under the vast, starry sky.

The impact of “Starry Night Over the Rhone” extends beyond its visual beauty. 

It has inspired countless artists, writers, and musicians, who see in it the embodiment of Van Gogh’s struggle and genius. 

The painting is often discussed in the context of Van Gogh’s contribution to the development of modern art.

It highlights his departure from traditional techniques and his embrace of bold colors and expressive brushwork.

Tickets to Visit Starry Night

You can visit Starry Night in Musée d’Orsay with the regular admission ticket.

Here are the best tickets to Musée d’Orsay: 

Tips for Visiting Starry Night in Musée d’Orsay 

When planning a visit to the Musée d’Orsay to see “Starry Night Over the Rhone,” it’s advisable to arrive early or visit during off-peak hours to avoid crowds. 

This will allow you to appreciate the painting and the surrounding works more intimately. 

Make sure you purchase your Musée d’Orsay entry tickets in advance to avoid any waiting. 

The museum offers audio guides that provide valuable insights into the paintings and the artists, enhancing your visit.

Additionally, consider exploring the museum’s other collections, including works by Monet, Renoir, and Cézanne, to gain a broader understanding of post-impressionist art. 

Facts About Starry Night in Musée d’Orsay 

Starry Night Over the Rhone” is one of Vincent van Gogh’s most celebrated and recognized works, painted in 1888 during his stay in Arles, a city in southern France. 

This painting is significant in Van Gogh’s oeuvre and the broader context of post-impressionist art. 

Here are some fascinating facts about this masterpiece:

This was Van Gogh’s First Attempt to Paint Stars

The night sky deeply inspired Van Gogh, and he wrote to his brother Theo about his excitement about painting the stars. 

“Starry Night Over the Rhone” was one of his first attempts to capture the night sky filled with stars.

Van Gogh Painted on the Scene

The painting depicts a scene along the banks of the Rhone River in Arles. 

Van Gogh chose a spot near his Yellow House to paint this nocturnal landscape. 

He completed the painting at a spot on the Rhone that allowed him to capture the gas lighting on the quay and reflections in the river.

The Start of Van Gogh’s Color Theory

The painting is renowned for its vibrant colors, the contrast between the deep blues of the night sky and the river, and the bright yellow and orange of the stars and streetlights.

Van Gogh’s use of color in “Starry Night Over the Rhone” is a prime example of his innovative approach to color theory and practice.

Starry Night has Some Noteworthy Techniques

Van Gogh’s technique in capturing the reflections of the stars and the lights on the water’s surface is particularly noteworthy. 

The swirling patterns of the reflection add a dynamic quality to the painting, suggesting movement in the otherwise tranquil scene.

This is the First Painting of the Starry Night Series

Starry Night Over the Rhone is part of a series of paintings that Van Gogh made of the night sky.

This series includes the more famous The Starry Night, painted in 1889 while he was in the Saint-Paul-de-Mausole asylum in Saint-Rémy-de-Provence.

Starry Night Used to be Displayed in Annual Exhibitions and Not Museum

Before its permanent home in the Musée d’Orsay, “Starry Night Over the Rhone” was exhibited at the 1889 Salon des Indépendants in Paris, an annual exhibition.

The painting’s inclusion in this exhibition was crucial for Van Gogh, offering him exposure to a wider audience.

Starry Night is one of the Most Influential Artworks Today 

The painting is a testament to Van Gogh’s influence on the development of modern art, particularly in his use of color and technique. 

It has inspired countless artists and remains a key work for those studying post-impressionism.

The Painting Showcases Van Gogh’s Emotional State 

Emotional Depth: Beyond its technical achievements, the painting also reflects Van Gogh’s emotional and psychological state. 

The vast, starry sky can be seen as a representation of Van Gogh’s hopes and his search for meaning in the universe.

Starry Night Was Initially Criticized 

While Van Gogh was not widely known during his lifetime, “Starry Night Over the Rhone” and his other works have since gained critical acclaim and public adoration.

Today, it is celebrated as one of the high points of his artistic achievement.

FAQs About Musée d’Orsay Starry Night 

1. Was Starry Night ever at the Musée d’Orsay?

Starry Night Over the Rhone is a part of Musée d’Orsay’s permanent collection. 

2. What Museum in Paris has Starry Night?

No museum in Paris has The Starry Night. This iconic painting by Vincent van Gogh is housed in the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) in New York. 

Paris, however, is home to other significant works by Van Gogh, including Starry Night Over the Rhone at the Musée d’Orsay.

3. What Museum is the original Starry Night in?

The original The Starry Night is in the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) in New York City. 

It is one of the most recognized pieces in their collection and a key highlight for visitors interested in post-impressionist art.

4. Where is the starry night in France?

In France, Starry Night Over the Rhone, another of Van Gogh’s star-themed paintings, is located in the Musée d’Orsay in Paris. 

While it shares thematic elements with The Starry Night, it is a distinct work that captures the Rhone River in Arles.

5. Are there two Starry Night paintings?

Yes, two paintings by Vincent van Gogh prominently feature starry night skies as their subject.

 The Starry Night, painted in 1889, is the more famous of the two and is housed in the Museum of Modern Art in New York. 

Starry Night Over the Rhone, painted in 1888, depicts the Rhone River and is located in the Musée d’Orsay in Paris.

6. What is the difference between Starry Night and Starry Night Over the Rhone?

The main difference lies in their subject matter and composition. 

The Starry Night depicts a swirling night sky over a fictional village, characterized by its expressive and emotional portrayal of the heavens. 

Starry Night Over the Rhone captures a more realistic scene of the Rhone River in Arles at night, with stars reflected in the water. 

Both showcase Van Gogh’s fascination with the night sky but from different perspectives and emotional contexts.

7. How many versions of The Starry Night are there?

There are at least 21 versions of the Starry Night painting. 

The most famous painting is Starry Night, 1889, housed in MoMA, NYC.

Another popular piece of this collection is the Starry Night Over the Rhone, housed in Musée d’Orsay. 

8. Where are all the locations of The Starry Night?

The 1889 classic Starry Night is in the Museum of Modern Art, NYC. 

You can find the Starry Night Over the Rhone in Musée d’Orsay. 

Other variations are distributed across museums worldwide, including the Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam. 

9. What floor is Van Gogh on in Musée d’Orsay?

Van Gogh’s works, including “Starry Night Over the Rhone,” are primarily displayed on the fifth floor of the Musée d’Orsay. 

This floor is dedicated to post-impressionist artists, where visitors can explore a significant collection of Van Gogh’s paintings, among other influential artists.

Featured Image: Wikipedia.org

About the author

Harshitha’s heart lies where greeny mountains meet stretches of beach. She believes getting lost is the best way to explore