Café terrace at night by Vincent van Gogh

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Cafe Terrace at Night by Vincent van Gogh

Painting NameCafé terrace at night
Painter NameVincent Van Gogh
Completion Date1888
Place of CreationArles, France
Size80.7 cm × 65.3 cm (31.8 in × 25.7 in)
Current LocationKröller-Müller Museum Otterlo Netherlands

Exaggerated portrayal of a real place in Arles, France, Café Terrace at Night is much revered painting. In modern times, the real café on which the artist drew his painting is renamed as the Café Van Gogh and is reconstructed so it could look like the café in the painting. That’s the height of the painter in today’s time. Many visitors visit the café and stands at where Van Gogh placed his easel.

As Van Gogh wrote in his letter to his brother Theo, the painting doesn’t depict the exact scenario of the place. The bright orangish-yellow and green texture of the café is the artist’s creation as well as the brightly blue starry night which artist described as a containing poor pale whitish light. The impact of Impressionism in the artist’s art is apparent as there is the use of bright colors. This was the first time van Gogh drew, now known as his signature-style, the blue sky with unrealistic stars which he used again in the same month in his another painting, Starry night Over the Rhone and in The Starry Night executed the year after.

The feel-good and comfortable scene invites us to take a deep look. A regular night at a regular café has been emphasized by this pure depiction. The enlighten walls capturing our eyes, the rough pavement at the end of the road and the dark buildings in the background all gathers up a beautiful composition any photographer would love to acquire. The empty chairs in the front don’t distract our eyes from enjoying the entire view.

Rumble-minded artist always tried to find peace while enjoying their art. Here I can sense the same feeling as the artist has gone out in the city to some inspirations and find a perfect place to depict the moment. A café, in my mind, is a perfect place to work at, as we can get in touch with the real world most closely and still can have our own privacy to enjoy our own things. It is like watching the beautiful surroundings with a dish of pasta – in Van Gogh’s case, with his brushes and a canvas.


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