I'm Kenney Mencher. I'm an artist who left a tenured professorship in 2016 to pursue making art full time. This blog is about art, art history, with a emphasis on human rights. I make homoerotic art featuring bears, otters & other gay wildlife.
Van Gogh's Starry Night and Friedrich's Cemetery in the Snow possess many contrasting elements when comparing form and iconography. Strictly regarding iconography one can see a comparison of life and death involving these two paintings. Friedrich's painting clearly resembles death as it is a blunt depiction of death in its gravestones and dark, wintery setting. In van Gogh's painting the idea of life is symbolized with the use of houses. Houses represent the life inside of them, and by having lights come out of some of the windows, van Gogh makes sure that the viewer understands that the life depicted is alive and merry.
Gabriel MunozIn the starry night and cemetery are both different forms paintings that have a different form but at the same time have similar iconography and context. Starry night has more mixed colors that’s it’s a lineal perspective but with wavy colors but in the cemetery in the snow the painting seems more realistic there is no brushwork and it’s a more defined rigid when looking at both of these paintings. The Iconography both these artist share is religious because the color both these artist use have emotions, Van Gogh is using dark and light colors to show a peaceful calm village where one can see the emotion that’s coming out with the stars and lights coming from the windows of the house. Friedrich is using lights color but is using nature to show the peacefulness that there is in this grave the trees are dead there’s a nature divine surrounding these graves like as well in Van Gogh’s painting. The context both these painters show is spirituality; the town in the starry night seems to be a religious town with the church being in the center of the town where everyone seems to live a peaceful life. In Friedrich painting one can almost feel the spiritual world he painted that makes it an enjoyable scene. One can feel the peace both these artist are really trying to paint because what they share in common is painting is peace to go around whether ones dead or alive one will find peace somewhere.
In both paintings, there is a sense of romanticized life and the thought that the human world will eventually crumble into nature. In Van Gogh's 'Starry Night' the cyprus tree in the foreground, where Van Gogh must have been sitting when painting, is taller than any of the buildings portrayed in the rest of the piece, including the steeple of the church. This is also presented in Friedrich's Cloister Cemetery in the Snow, where the crumbling architecture is surrounded by large, gnarly trees. This sense of nature overcoming, could represent the fact that the human realm is ever changing and not forever while the natural realm represents God himself in beauty. Both paintings show a world where the trees and mountains surrounding the building(s) will eventually overcome what man himself built.
P. Danielle YoshinobuWhat both paintings have in common is they both share atmospheric perspective and is a similar composition form wise. The differences in form are, Van Gogh's has optical brushstrokes, counter-balancing curves, non-local colors and is asymmetrical. Friedrich's painting is more realistic, symmetrical, has high contrast, and saturated colors. Van Gogh's iconography is of emotion, he expresses this through the non-local colors that the use of analogous and complementary colors for his palette. Friedrich's painting is an expression of the memento mori with the setting being a cemetery basically we saying we're all going to die and God is all around watching us. But both paintings share an iconography of showing that nature is divine through God. In context they both share religious and romantic views although Van Gogh's is more emotional and romantic, it's still religious by showing how nature is God. Friedrich's is more spiritual and religious than romantic through the expression of the memento mori but it's romantic in it's own right by showing how nature is so divine and overwhelming.