The image, which is painted in the medium of oil on canvas was a minutes walk from the Yellow House. Painted in a similar style to the Cafe Terrace at night and The Starry Night, the sky as well as the effects of light on it in the Starry Night Over the Rhone provided a subject for Van Gogh's more famous paintings. The painting is an image from a quayside on the east of the Rhone river.
Famously, Van Gogh described the paintings composition in a letter to his beloved brother Theo. He even included a small preview in the form of a sketch in the letter. Van Gogh describes the wonderful colours that will make up the final image, including the royal blue water and the blues and purples of the buildings in the town of Arles. Van Gogh also describes the figurines of two lovers.
Vincent Van Gogh was always puzzled by the idea of painting at night. He saw it as a challenge. The point at which Van Gogh chose to paint this image enabled him to capture the reflections of the street lighting in the town of Arles across the royal blue waters of the Rhone river. Van Gogh manages to do this in a very special way. The colours of the two lovers glow in love.
Colour was something that was extremely important to Van Gogh. The letters that he regularly wrote to Theo often talked about the subject matter of his projects in terms of colour. His paintings that are composed at night are particularly important in allowing Van Gogh to show his talent at capturing the wonderful sparkling colours that move across the Rhone river at night.
Van Gogh painted Starry Night Over the Rhone just a few months before he was confined to a mental hospital. Starry Night has been said to be an obsessive project for Van Gogh. The painting has been said to depict Van Gogh's troubled mind. It was in 1889 at the exhibition of Society des Artistes Independents in Paris.