Café Musain, long before the barricades arise; when the rooms are still filled with life and laughter and hope long into the night.
Landscapes, 2014 | by Anthony Samaniego
Francis Campbell Boileau Cadell (Scottish, 1883-1937), Interior, Ainslie Place. Watercolour 36 x 35 cm.
The Cafe Terrace on the Place du Forum, Arles, at Night
(Kröller-Müller Museum, Otterlo;1888)
Oil on canvas
81.0 x 65.5 cm.
Vincent van Gogh’s The Cafe Terrace stands as one of the painter’s most remarkable works.
Vincent was enthusiastic about The Cafe Terrace and wrote to his sister Wil:
'In point of fact I was interrupted these days by my toiling on a new picture representing the outside of a night cafe. On the terrace there are tiny figures of people drinking. An enormous yellow lantern sheds its light on the terrace, the house and the sidewalk, and even causes a certain brightness on the pavement of the street, which takes a pinkish violet tone. The gable-topped fronts of the houses in a street stretching away under a blue sky spangled with stars are dark blue or violet and there is a green tree. Here you have a night picture without any black in it, done with nothing but beautiful blue and violet and green, and in these surroundings the lighted square acquires a pale sulphur and greenish citron-yellow colour. It amuses me enormously to paint the night right on the spot. They used to draw and paint the picture in the daytime after the rough sketch. But I find satisfaction in painting things immediately.'
(9 and 16 September 1888)
More than one hundred years after Vincent painted it, the Cafe Terrace is still in Arles serving drinks to its thirsty patrons. It’s now called the Cafe Van Gogh, appropriately enough, and has been remodelled to appear as it did more than a century ago—yellow-lit awning and all.
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