After cleaned his palette of muddy tones and insipid graduations of colour, he kept only the purest and crudest of tints, those highest in key, setting them down in abrupt but harmonious contrast.
Van Gogh probably felt that each color had quite a different meaning, possessed a spiritual value, symbolized the essence of being and carried a transcendent message.
In " Starry Night", a postimpressionist classic, Van Gogh began to use the swirling brush strokes and intense yellows and blues. His Post Impressionist work hauntingly conveys through forceful color, aggressive brushwork and contoured forms the deeply troubled yet passionate man we know him to have been.
The swirling line give a sense of urgency, but the application of paint showed it was calculated and carefully painted. The mood of the painting is primarily conveyed by colors, shape and lines. The stars, which symbolized infinity and eternality, suggested hope and shine in darkness.
It seems as though something big is taking place in the sky above the sleeping town below, an atmosphere crowded with mysterious flowing lines, suggestive of galaxies in motion. Two gigantic spiral nebulae are entwined; eleven enormously enlarged stars, like fireballs with aureoles of light, break through the night; an unreal orange-colored moon seems to be joined to the sun; a broad band of light - perhaps the Milky Way - is drawn across the horizon, and the deep blue sky appears to be in unsettling turmoil. The immediacy and expressive power of the painting are intensified by the impulsive, sweeping flow of brush.