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“White House at Night” by Vincent van Gogh


“White House at Night” by Vincent van Gogh

“White House at Night” by Vincent van Gogh was created six weeks before his death. It is thought that van Gogh painted “White House at Night” around 8:00 PM based on the position of the “star” in the painting. Astronomers calculated that the star in the picture must be Venus which was bright in the evening sky in June 1890. Does this painting express Van Gogh’ s psychological tension?

The painting itself has had a turbulent history. In the late 1920s, it became part of a private collection of a German industrialist. Pictures of this style were labelled “degenerate art” by the Nazis, which contributed to this painting and other Post-Impressionism paintings being kept secret.

Thought to have been lost after World War II, the painting was in the Hermitage archives for fifty years before being exhibited in 1995. At the same Hermitage exhibition, three other Van Gogh’s paintings also thought to have been lost, were presented for the first time since the war. They included: “Landscape with House and Ploughman”, “Morning: Going out to Work (After Millet)” and the “Portrait of Madame Trabuc” all by Vincent van Gogh.

Vincent Willem van Gogh has become among the most famous and influential figures in the history of Western art. Van Gogh was unsuccessful during his lifetime and was considered a madman and a failure. He created about 2,100 artworks, including around 860 oil paintings, most of them in the last two years of his life. They were characterised by bold colours and dramatic, impulsive and expressive brushwork that contributed to the foundations of modern art.


  • Do paintings that have a turbulent history fascinate us even more?
  • What other masterpieces remain to be discovered in Museums and collector archives?
  • Painted by Vincent van Gogh six weeks before his death, what do you see?
  • Does this painting express Van Gogh’s psychological anxiety?

Exploring Vincent van Gogh

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White House at Night

  • Title:                   White House at Night
  • Artist:                 Vincent van Gogh
  • Year:                   1890
  • Place Created:   Auvers-sur-Oise, France
  • Medium:            Oil on canvas
  • Dimensions       59 cm × 72.5 cm (23.2 in × 28.5 in)
  • Museum:           Hermitage Museum

 Vincent van Gogh