It’s the last day of the Culture Tourist Art Blogmas. And I’m sharing one of the most beautiful artworks located in Europe with you, Vincent van Gogh’s Terrace of a Cafe at Night.
Art Blogmas 2021
Kröller-Müller Museum in Otterlo (the Netherlands) is home to the second-largest collection of Van Gogh’s work in the world. One of his most famous paintings, Terrace of a Cafe at Night, is located there.
⤷ Read more: Kröller-Müller Museum
Vincent van Gogh: Terrace of a Cafe at Night
⤷ Where is it? Kröller-Müller Museum, Otterlo (the Netherlands)
Van Gogh made this painting in 1888 while he was living in Arles, France. He painted a cafe located on the main square in that French town. Van Gogh used only four colours in this artwork – yellow, green, orange and dark blue.
However, his main goal with this painting was to show the night scene without using the black colour. He painted the sky with a dark blue colour and captured the colour of the night that way. He’s getting an even better feeling of the night scene by showing artificial yellow lighting.
Van Gogh described this painting in one of his letters:
On the terrace, there are little figures of people drinking. A huge yellow lantern lights the terrace, the façade, the pavement, and even projects light over the cobblestones of the street, which takes on a violet-pink tinge. The gables of the houses on a street that leads away under the blue sky studded with stars are dark blue or violet, with a green tree. Now there’s a painting of night without black. With nothing but beautiful blue, violet and green, and in these surroundings the lighted square is coloured pale sulphur, lemon green. I enormously enjoy painting on the spot at night. In the past they used to draw, and paint the picture from the drawing in the daytime. But I find that it suits me to paint the thing straightaway. It’s quite true that I may take a blue for a green in the dark, a blue lilac for a pink lilac, since you can’t make out the nature of the tone clearly. But it’s the only way of getting away from the conventional black night with a poor, pallid and whitish light, while in fact a mere candle by itself gives us the richest yellows and oranges.
This is the first of Van Gogh’s paintings on which he painter the sky covered by stars. He painted them with such precision, researchers could tell the exact dates Vincent painted it: 16th – 17th November 1888.
⤷ Read more: Locations linked with Vincent van Gogh in Europe