Vincent had a passion for light and color. He was intrigued by the light effects which reflected on the landscape. This painting is a study of a cafe in Arles. Remarkable about this painting is the similarity with the Starry Night painting. Vincent used the same techniques to paint the gaslights as he used to paint the stars in Starry Night.
Vincent wasn’t happy with this painting at all. In fact he made two versions of the cafe. In a letter to Theo he describes his unhappiness about this painting: “Like this “Night Café” usually seem to me atrociously ugly and bad, but when I am moved by something, then these are the only ones which appear to have any deep meaning.”
He does describe the painting carefully in another letter to Theo:
“The room is blood red and dark yellow with a green billiard table in the middle; there are four lemon-yellow lamps with a glow of orange and green. Everywhere there is a clash and contrast of the most alien reds and greens, in the figures of little sleeping hooligans, in the empty dreary room, in violet and blue. The blood-red and the yellow-green of the billiard table, for instance, contrast with the soft tender Louis XV green of the counter, on which there is a rose nosegay. The white clothes of the landlord, watchful in a corner of that furnace, turn lemon-yellow, or pale