Van Gogh's Moon
July 11, 2003 6:58 PM   Subscribe

Van Gogh's Moon Shines Again This Weekend If you go out this Sunday evening and look up at the Moon, you will see not only our closest celestial neighbor, but a piece of art history as well. The rising full moon will appear exactly the way it did 114 years ago, when Vincent Van Gogh captured the scene in his famous painting "Moonrise.". Also learn how the moon helped date the painting.
posted by NewBornHippy (12 comments total)
supersweet post, 'hippy. thank you!
posted by stonerose at 7:09 PM on July 11, 2003

Great post. I'm nowhere near France, but I was just admiring the nearly-full moon this evening, and I'll make a point of looking at it on Sunday.
posted by GriffX at 7:15 PM on July 11, 2003

and i won't have to ingest lsd to see it like that? hardly likely.
posted by quonsar at 7:19 PM on July 11, 2003

The one thing that irks me is that Van Gogh, like many painters, may have expressed a bit of his artistic freedom, and the moon may have not really been partly concealed as it is in the painting, or some other difference. It might mean the whole dating/anniversary thing is a bit of a sham.. but still..
posted by wackybrit at 7:30 PM on July 11, 2003

Silly humans. Because they invented a numbering system they think things keep repeating.
posted by HTuttle at 10:40 PM on July 11, 2003

Groovy post NewBornHippie!
posted by dejah420 at 10:54 PM on July 11, 2003

First off, thanks for the heads up!

Second off (my chest) Wacktbrit, reading your comment about artistic freedom causing a sham: The link for this post briefly gets into explaining that deductive research was done which suggests that the researchers were sharp enough to consider Van Gogh's language.

Really? Do I understand that artistic freedom irks you? He heh. --what???
posted by giantkicks at 11:03 PM on July 11, 2003

The one thing that irks me is that Van Gogh, like many painters, may have expressed a bit of his artistic freedom,

Being as Van Gogh was an impressionist this really isn't a point to consider. The most that can be said is Van Gogh was inspired by this nights particular moon.
posted by Dennis Murphy at 11:14 PM on July 11, 2003

yeah, like the assumption being he sat and whipped out this painting in one evening, in moonlight, like some sort of human polaroid. the stuff people will beleive never ceases to astound me. sunday i'll look at the moon, just like i will tonight, and just like i did last night, and i may even howl a bit. but i'll feel no connection to this painting or its artist. pray those astronomers didn't expend public funds on this triviality.
posted by quonsar at 9:37 AM on July 12, 2003

Well it looks to me like it WAS 'whipped out in an evening', by the dim light of the said moon ;)
posted by plep at 12:24 PM on July 12, 2003

I'll just loop this back around to the beginning: Great post. And the moon tonight? Also great.
posted by jengod at 11:15 PM on July 12, 2003

Now, 114 years later, Van Gogh's Moon will rise again. What this means is that on Sunday, July 13, 2003, the Moon will be in exactly the same spot in its orbit - with respect to Earth, the Sun and the stars - as it was on July 13, 1889.
So, tonight I shouldn't expect to see an orange moon in a greenish yellow sky, I should expect to see the moon as Van Gogh saw it while painting "Moonrise". No big deal, nothing new here.

The article doesn't mention how often this happens or if it has happened in the past, this is pure fluff.
posted by DBAPaul at 11:27 AM on July 13, 2003

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