Vincent Van Gogh’s Cafe Terrace At Night (1888) – Facts, Details & Reproduction

Cafe Terrace at Night

This is one of Vincent Van Gogh’s most intricate paintings, and this comparison is based on hundreds of his works. It evokes deep emotion and transports people to a certain time and place. The most eye-catching piece of the painting is the contrast of yellow and orange burst of color, which is the cafe, contrasted with the dark blue sky and the houses. These two contrasting hues uniquely blend and make up the tiles on the floor of that scenery.

Even Van Gogh himself was pleased to see these colors blend well. Saying: “I believe that an abundance of gaslight, which, after all, is yellow and orange, intensifies blue.”

He also wrote: “You never told me if you had read Guy de Maupassant’s Bel-ami, and what you now think of his talent in general. I say this because the beginning of Bel-ami is precisely the description of a starry night in Paris, with the lighted cafés of the boulevard, and it’s something like the same subject that I’ve painted just now.”

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5 Facts About Cafe Terrace At Night

  • This painting is actually filled with religious references, presented in the most subtle of ways. This was confirmed by writer Jared Baxter during the 2013 European Conference on Arts and Humanities, pointing out it’s similarities to Da Vinci’s famous painting “The Last Supper”. It could be very hard to spot at first, but look closely and you will see one central figure in white, surrounded by 12 others, while the shadowy figure by one of the doors of the cafe is said to symbolize Judas. This should come as no surprise to those who know that Van Gogh was actually a devout Christian in the early stages of his life, and that his father Theodorus was actually a pastor.
  • Van Gogh never put his signature in this painting. Although, he himself wrote about it in his letters and mentioned it a few times in passing. Why he chose not to sign this painting is still a mystery.
  • This painting is so well known, that it has had about 3 separate titles in different points in time. The two alternate titles are “Café, le soir,” and “Café Terrace on the Place du Forum.” which directly translates to “coffeehouse in the evening.”
  • This is the first sighting of Van Gogh’s iconic post-impressionist star-filled sky, which can also be found in his other paintings. Specifically, Starry Night Over The Rhone and The Starry Night, his most famous work to date.
  • Vincent painted this location live and not from imagination or memory. It’s safe to say we are seeing the world through Vincent Van Gogh’s eyes, which is common in many of his works.

Some culture references on this piece:

The painting and the café were both featured in the 1956 film Lust for Life, Ronin and Loving Vincent. It also appeared on the tenth episode in the fifth series of British science fiction television series Doctor Who.

How Much Is This Piece Worth And Where Is It Now?

This painting is displayed at the Kröller-Müller Museum in Otterlo, Netherlands, home to the second largest collection of Van Gogh paintings.

Since it was never sold, it’s worth is not specified.