The Night Cafe Symbolism

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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 …show more content…
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 beverages on the table. He balances the dark wood furnitures and clothing of the diners/servant with the red floral carpeting, off-white ceramics, fresh fruits, and the white and gold clock adorning the far …show more content…
Rather than sitting the viewer on the outskirts of the room like Van Gogh, Caillebotte offers them a seat at the table. The use of cropping effectively welcomes the viewer into the painting while also allowing the artist to utilize the space more with various minor items on the table. Rather than the implied shapes and objects in Van Gogh’s painting, Caillebotte uses an arrangement of elaborately painted smaller objects, illustrates them in great detail and places them throughout the foreground as well as the right side of the background. Caillebotte also uses a hanging wall clock the balance the roundness and whiteness of the plate set for the viewer of the

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