Night Cafe in Arles (Madame Ginoux) (1888; Arles-sur-tech, France) by Paul Gauguin

Night Cafe in Arles (Madame Ginoux) - Paul Gauguin - 1888; Arles-sur-tech, France

Artwork Information

TitleNight Cafe in Arles (Madame Ginoux)
ArtistPaul Gauguin
Date1888; Arles-sur-tech, France
Dimensions71.5 x 91.5 cm
Art MovementPost-Impressionism
Current LocationPushkin Museum, Moscow, Russia

About Night Cafe in Arles (Madame Ginoux)

The artwork “Night Cafe in Arles (Madame Ginoux)” is a notable creation by artist Paul Gauguin, crafted in the year 1888 in Arles-sur-tech, France. This oil on canvas masterpiece is dimensioned at 71.5 by 91.5 centimeters and is considered a fine example of genre painting within the Post-Impressionism movement. The artwork is presently housed at the Pushkin Museum in Moscow, Russia.

The artwork presents a vibrant scene within a cafe, at the center of which sits a figure presumed to be Madame Ginoux, the cafe’s proprietress. Her posture is relaxed, and she appears to be gazing directly at the viewer, with her elbow resting on the table and her head supported by her hand, suggesting a moment of repose or contemplation. On the table before her, we observe a bottle of wine and a half-empty glass, along with a bowl containing what may be fruits or nuts.

In the background, patrons engage in leisure activities, most prominently playing billiards, which is indicated by the green billiards table occupying a significant portion of the middle ground. The figures around the table are captured in various states of movement, adding a dynamic quality to the setting. The color palette is rich and strongly contrasts the warm reds of the walls with the cooler tones of the furniture and the figures. Gauguin’s Post-Impressionist style is characterized by the use of bold colors and expressive, simplified forms, diverging from the nuances of light and shadow favored by the Impressionists, and this painting typifies these qualities. Overall, the artwork invites viewers to delve into a moment of social interaction and introspection within the nocturnal ambiance of a French cafe.

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