https://www.facebook.com/MiaFeigelson – Van Gogh – Mia Feigelson Gallery
To his youngest sister, Wil. Arles. 9 and about 14 September, 1888
“…I definitely want to paint a starry sky now. It often seems to me that the night is even more richly coloured than the day, coloured in the most intense violets, blues and greens.
If you look carefully you’ll see that some stars are lemony, others have a pink, green, forget-me-not blue glow. And without labouring the point, it’s clear that to paint a starry sky it’s not nearly enough to put white spots on blue-black.
I started this letter several days ago, up to here, and I’m picking it up again now.
I was interrupted precisely by the work that a new painting of the outside of a café in the evening has been giving me these past few days. On the terrace, there are little figures of people drinking. A huge yellow lantern lights the terrace, the façade, the pavement, and even projects light over the cobblestones of the street, which takes on a violet-pink tinge. The gables of the houses on a street that leads away under the blue sky studded with stars are dark blue or violet, with a green tree.
Now there’s a painting of night without black. With nothing but beautiful blue, violet and green, and in these surroundings the lighted square is coloured pale sulphur, lemon green.
I enormously enjoy painting on the spot at night. In the past they used to draw, and paint the picture from the drawing in the daytime. But I find that it suits me to paint the thing straightaway. It’s quite true that I may take a blue for a green in the dark, a blue lilac for a pink lilac, since you can’t make out the nature of the tone clearly. But it’s the only way of getting away from the conventional black night with a poor, pallid and whitish light, while in fact a mere candle by itself gives us the richest yellows and oranges” – http://bit.ly/29lqPLE
Painting incorporated into the film Loving Vincent http://lovingvincent.com/
“Café terrace at night” (Arles. September, 1888) [F467]
By Vincent van Gogh (Dutch, 1853-1890)
oil on canvas; 80.7 x 65.3 cm
Place of creation: Place du Forum, Arles, France
© Kröller-Müller Museum, Otterlo, the Netherlands hhttp://bit.ly/2fr6ZTe
To Theo. Arles. 16 September 1888
“…That’s the first painting this week. The second shows the outside of a café, lit on the terrace outside by a large gas-lamp in the blue night, with a patch of starry blue sky.
The third painting this week is a portrait of myself, almost colourless, in ashy tones against a pale Veronese background.
(…) The question of painting night scenes or effects, on the spot and actually at night, interests me enormously” – http://bit.ly/2nP6DFK
” ‘Café terrace at night’ is a coloured oil painting executed by the Dutch artist Vincent van Gogh on an industrially primed canvas of size 25 in Arles, France, mid-September 1888. The painting is not signed, but described and mentioned by the artist in his letters on various occasions. There is also a large pen drawing of the composition which originates from the artist’s estate.
Visitors of the site can still stand at the northeastern corner of the Place du Forum, where the artist set up his easel.
He looked south towards the artificially lit terrace of the popular coffee house, as well as into the enforced darkness of the rue du Palais leading up to the building structure (to the left, not pictured) and, beyond this structure, the tower of a former church (now Musée Lapidaire).
Towards the right, Van Gogh indicated a lighted shop as well, and some branches of the trees surrounding the place—but he omitted the remainders of the Roman monuments just beside this little shop.
When exhibited for the first time, in 1892, the painting was entitled Coffeehouse, in the evening (Café, le soir).
This is the first painting in which he used starry backgrounds; he went on to paint star-filled skies in Starry Night Over the Rhone (painted the same month), and the better known Starry Night a year later. Van Gogh also painted a starlight background in Portrait of Eugène Boch. Van Gogh mentioned the Cafe Terrace painting in a letter written to Eugène Boch on October 2, 1888 and ‘Country road in Provence by night’ (May, 1890) [F683] at the Kröller-Müller Museum, Otterlo, the Netherlands”