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''The Night Café''

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''The Night Café'' ''The Night Café''
''The Night Café''
''The Night Café'' "The Night Café" ''The Night Café''
  Vincent Van Gogh - Oil On Canvas - 89 x 70 cm - 1888 - Yale University Art Gallery - Hartford, United States

A night in the station cafe of Arles is an attempt by the Dutch post-Impressionist painter Vincent Van Gogh to convey his impressions about the place and people, the frequenters. The author himself often visited this cafe and created several portraits (of owners of the institution, regular visitors, etc.). For the master, this cafe is a place of the collapse of hopes, where the frequenters are trying to quickly escape from reality.

The cafe is very modest, the only entertainment for the guests was the old and shabby billiards. The clock, the must-have for the places near the station, shows that time has passed midnight. A few visitors are occupied by their business. Someone has already fallen asleep at the table, the couple in the far corner is having a conversation, the man in the center is facing the viewer. He confusedly contemplates whether the artist or viewers of the painting.

For the master, color has always been an important means for expressing his emotions and attitude to the plot of his work. When we peer into the picture more attentively, the atmosphere of staleness, decay and depression begin to envelop the viewer. Billiards turns into a coffin, green and red tones complete the depressing impression. And the clock counts the last hours of the life of all those present in the cafe. The predominance of green in the picture is not accidental. It is such a shade of green that gives a feeling of self-destruction and loneliness. At the same time. The bright red walls give feelings of fear and anxiety, which unhappy visitors will soon forget for a while.

The color of work that is new to the master and the skillful distortion of space, which makes it possible to more clearly reveal the idea of ​​work, allow us to consider the picture as the first example in the history of art to create a canvas that gave life to a whole style — expressionism.

According to Van Gogh himself, the painting “The Night Cafe” was created to convey the effect of a look at the environment of a public institution through the eyes of a drunken man, whose thoughts of understanding of what is happening and his mind are clouded by heavy drinking.

It is impossible to see neither the clear outlines of the faces of the visitors nor the lines of the interior in the painting. The same is seen by those who decided to visit a cafe that night. A lot of alcohol is depicted in the background of the picture.

Evidently, with this, Van Gogh gives one more hint to feel the purpose of the arrival of people in this cafe. He depicts this picture through the eyes of a visitor sitting at the very end of the hall, and watching everything that happens in this “foggy” room. Moreover, each client, depicted by Van Gogh, apparently has its own specific life story, radically different from the story of the other visitor, who by the will of fate turned out to be in the same night in “The Night Cafe”.The artwork currently belongs to The Yale University Art Gallery in The United States. 

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