This painting depicts a cafe in Arles,France specifically the Cafe Terrace and today the cafe is called Cafe van Gogh. The style of the painting is unique for Van Gogh with warm colors and depth of perspective. “Café Terrace at Night,” shows the exterior of a café which still stands in Arles, though it was renamed The van Gogh Café and remodeled to closely resemble the painting which immortalized it. He painted this work in a flurry, using many of the same techniques he employed in his drawings. This is one of his most beautiful paintings, full of the light and peace he sought, but never found.
Perspective and warm complementary colors draw the viewer into the painting and beyond. The graphic texture of the street’s cobblestones invite the eye toward the little café itself, with its tiny white tables on the street, repeating the spheres of Vincent’s stars hung in the Prussian blue sky. The awning and walls of the café, warm yellow, cut into the sky to enhance both colors and form the main composition.
Van Gogh loved the night. He writes, “I have a terrible need of–dare I say–religion…then I go outside at night and paint the stars.” He painted this night scene on the spot, at night, using no blacks. His father was a preacher and Vincent went into the ministry for a while. It was later that this artist, now a star himself posthumously, decided his ministry would be to find a way to give hope and consolation to humanity through his art.