How Much Is The Starry Night Worth?

Van Gogh’s The Starry Night is one of the most recognizable paintings in the world. Even those who haven’t studied art or taken any formal classes can easily identify the painting by its iconic swirling brushstrokes, deep indigo blues, and its ethereal atmosphere that represents the height of the impressionist era. Needless to say, it is nothing if not iconic. How much does The Starry Night cost, though? 

The estimated value of The Starry Night is $100 million. This makes it one of the most valuable paintings on the planet, and the original work of art is highly guarded. It’s currently on display at the Museum of Modern Art in New York City where visitors can come and marvel at one of Van Gogh’s last great works of art. 

So, why exactly does this painting cost so much? What factors have contributed to it becoming one of the world’s most iconic paintings? Is it even for sale in the first place? In today’s post, I’m going to explain the answer to all of these questions and unwrap the deeper meaning behind Van Gogh’s most famous painting. Let’s take a look! 

Van Gogh’s Starry Night: One of the World’s Most Iconic Works of Art

The Starry Night is one of those classic paintings that immediately grabs your attention. The first time that I ever heard of the painting, I think I was in a middle school art class. In fact, I even recall attempting to paint my own “rendition” of the painting for a class art project. Admittedly, it was a great try for a 12-year-old, but nowhere close to the original. 

The first time that I saw the painting hanging on the wall at New York’s famous MOMA, I couldn’t take my eyes off of it. The beautiful swirls immediately drew my gaze and I felt almost hypnotized. I immediately remembered that the Mona Lisa had made me feel a similar way.  Obviously, I’m not the only one who the painting has affected this way. 

The mere fact that it’s worth an estimated $100 million is proof enough of its impact on viewers. Many would even go so far as to say that the painting is priceless! My own personal opinion on the art aside, though, let’s take a deeper look at The Starry Night and what makes it so special. 

When Was The Starry Night Painted? 

The Starry Night was painted in the summer of 1889. This was near the end of the famous Impressionist era, which had influenced Van Gogh heavily during his early studies and throughout his career. Although he painted some more realistic and modern art pieces, The Starry Night was one of his last great paintings made in the impressionist style. 

Why Does The Starry Night Cost So Much? 

When most people first hear about the painting’s estimated $100 million price tag, they gawk in amazement. To date, the most expensive painting ever sold is Da Vinci’s Salvator Mundi, which recently sold for $450 million. The reality is that timeless art is almost priceless. 

In 1962, The Mona Lisa was valued at $100 million as well. However, it’s likely worth far more today when inflation is taken into account. That being said, The Starry Night’s price tag isn’t inflated beyond value. The price is to be expected from such a great work of art. 

Factors That Make The Starry Night Near Priceless

Perhaps you still doubt the value of Van Gogh’s masterpiece. If so, here are some of the reasons why it’s valued so high (and why the value will only continue to increase). 

Van Gogh’s Unique Brush Stroke Style 

The Starry Night wasn’t Van Gogh’s only masterpiece. However, it is regarded as his most striking. The intense brushstrokes immediately have a hypnotizing effect that few other paintings in history have been able to capture. 

It Was Painted While The Artist Was Hospitalized

One of the most interesting facts about this piece is that it was actually painted while Van Gogh was hospitalized in a mental asylum. Like many great artists, Van Gogh had a troubled mind and was largely unappreciated during his life. In fact, he only sold one painting while he was alive and died in poverty. The fact that he was able to paint this work while hospitalized and under the influence of mind-clouding drugs is nothing short of astounding. 

Its Deeper Meaning

The Starry Night features a large cypress tree in the foreground. Throughout history and mythology, these trees have always been associated with the afterlife. As the painting was one of the last that the artist painted before taking his own life, many speculate that this painting represented Van Gogh’s peaceful thoughts of what he could expect upon his death. 

How Big Is The Starry Night? 

Despite its widespread fame and notoriety, The Starry Night only measures 2′ 5″ x 3′ 0″, making it just incrementally larger than Da Vinci’s The Mona Lisa. When I first read about the painting in my studies, I originally thought that it would be much larger. However, its relatively small size just goes to show that color and attention to detail often make for a far more iconic painting than simple dimensions alone. 

What Inspired The Vibrant Color In The Starry Night

One of the first things that most people notice about The Starry Night is its incredibly vibrant colors of deep blue, purple, and gold. Although some of Van Gogh’s first pieces utilized darker tones and more neutral colors, Van Gogh eventually developed an incredibly vibrant way of using colors that was inspired by the French Artist Eugene Delacroix

He would start with base paint and then he would eventually mix and layer more colors, sometimes even adding his own handcrafted paints into the mix for extra vibrancy. This is how he created some of the awe-inspiring color schemes in his art. 

Where Is The Starry Night Today? 

Today, The Starry Night is on display at New York’s famous Museum of Modern Art where anybody can visit and see it. Currently, the original is not for sale. However, the MOMA does sell some beautiful prints if you’re looking to display it in your own home.