Starry Night is probably Vincent van Gogh's most famous and popular painting. It has been the subject of fiction, poetry and the song "Vincent" or "Starry, Starry Night" by Don McLean.
Vincent himself may not anticipate this popularity at all. He generally discussed his paintings in letters with his brother Theo at great length. However, Starry Night is only mentioned briefly twice.
The painting was created while Vincent was in the asylum at Saint-Remy and his behaviour was very erratic at the time. There has been speculation about the eleven stars in the painting. While it's true that Vincent didn't have the same religious fervour in 1889, when he painted the work, as he did in his earlier years, there is a possibility that the story of Joseph in the Old Testament may have had an influence on the composition of the work.