Essay on Analysis Of Van Gogh 's ' The Night Cafe '

814 Words Mar 2nd, 2016 4 Pages
Van Gogh uses color in a very deliberate and effective way in The Night Café. He selects the colors not based on his visual interpretation of the room but on the psychological and emotional effects it has on its occupants. He explains to his brother Theo, in a letter, that he uses the red and green in an attempt to express the terrible passions of human nature. The use of these colors helps to illustrate the intensity of the Café de la Gare and provoke the emotions of the viewer who may relate the bar scene to alcoholism or depression. He also balances the wooden browns and yellows of the lower half of the painting with a dark wooden clock adorned with a vibrant yellow face at the top of the painting. The yellow circles expanding around the lighting fixtures and the clock balanced with the intense yellow of the floor help to illustrate how brightly the room was filled with artificial light while still making the viewer feel that no natural light is entering the room.
Caillebotte uses color very differently from Van Gogh’s painting but is just as effective in portraying his message to the viewer. Instead of filling the room with artificial light, the room is lit softly by the sun passing through the white floral print curtains creating a very comfortable, relaxing atmosphere for the diners. Caillebotte also uses the lush darkness of the wooden table to create the shadow of the window openings as well as allowing the natural light to pass through the various glass objects and…

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