The Night Cafe (1888) by Vincent Van Gogh

The Night Cafe - Vincent Van Gogh - 1888

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Artwork Information

TitleThe Night Cafe
ArtistVincent Van Gogh
MediumOil on Canvas
Dimensions89 x 70 cm
Art MovementPost-Impressionism
Current LocationYale University Art Gallery (Yale University), New Haven, CT, US
Location Created Arles, Bouches-du-Rhône, France

About The Night Cafe

“The Night Cafe” is a notable work by the artist Vincent Van Gogh, created in 1888. It exemplifies the Post-Impressionist movement and is crafted using oil on canvas. The artwork’s dimensions are 89 cm by 70 cm and it portrays an interior scene. This significant piece is housed at the Yale University Art Gallery in New Haven, Connecticut, United States. Van Gogh painted this artwork in Arles, located in the region of Bouches-du-Rhône, France.

The artwork presents a view of the interior of a café at night. The scene is vibrant with bold colors and emphatic brush strokes characteristic of Van Gogh’s style; the palette is dominated by deep reds and greens, which the artist said conveyed a sense of oppressive atmosphere. In the room, we see a billiards table in the center, surrounded by wooden chairs and tables scattered across the yellow wooden floor, which is rendered with distinct linear brushwork. Different sources of light cast vivid and contrasting hues, exemplifying the artist’s innovative use of color to evoke mood and emotion.

Several figures occupy the room, seated at the tables to the right or standing by the bar to the left. Their features are roughly delineated, capturing more the essence of their presence than their individual identities. In the background, bright yellow and orange circular shapes are suggestive of the glowing lamps that illuminate the interior. The overall composition communicates a sense of loneliness and desolation, despite the public setting, which reflects Van Gogh’s profound exploration of human emotion and psychology through his art.

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