The drawing Cypresses in Starry Night, a reed pen study executed by van Gogh after the painting in 1889. Originally held at Kunsthalle Bremen, today part of the disputed Baldin Collection.
In September 1888, before his December breakdown that resulted in his hospitalisation in Arles, he painted Starry Night Over the Rhone. Van Gogh wrote about this painting::
"... it does me good to do what’s difficult. That doesn’t stop me having a tremendous need for, shall I say the word — for religion — so I go outside at night to paint the stars.'"
In mid-September 1889, following a heavy crisis which lasted from mid-July to the last days of August, he thought to include Starry Night (i.e. the painting which is the subject of this article) in the next batch of works to be sent to his brother, Theo, in Paris. In order to reduce the shipping costs, he withheld three of the studies, including Starry Night. These three went to Paris with the shipment that followed. When Theo did not immediately report its arrival, Vincent inquired again and finally received Theo's commentary on his recent work.