In 1888, French painter Paul Gauguin created an oil painting called “In the Café,” also known as the “Night Café at Arles.” Gauguin was known for breaking away from Impressionism and pioneering a new style of painting known as Symbolism. He was deeply interested in non-Western cultures and incorporated elements of Japanese, Javanese, and Egyptian art into his works.
The painting depicts the interior of a cafe in Arles, southern France, which had already been painted by Vincent van Gogh. Gauguin joined together Van Gogh’s two paintings, the Night Café and the Portrait of Madame Ginoux, and reinterpreted them in his own style. He boldly experimented with coloring, which led to the Synthetist style of modern art.
Furthermore, Gauguin’s expression of the inherent meaning of subjects in his paintings paved the way for Primitivism and the return to the pastoral. The painting is currently on display at the Pushkin Museum in Moscow, Russia. In summary, “In the Café” by Paul Gauguin is a Symbolist painting that showcases his interest in non-Western cultures and experimentation with coloring.