The Cafe Terrace at NIght was painted by Van Gogh in mid-September 1888 during his stay in Arles, France. This scene takes place in the Place du Forum in Arles, at the Cafe Terrace. This Cafe still exists and in the same location that it was when Van Gogh made this Masterpiece.
The Cafe Terrace at Night was painted much before his other Masterpiece, Starry Night. In fact, Cafe Terrace at Night was the first in a series of paintings that captured the night sky with the brilliance of Van Gogh’s colour and painting style.
An interesting fact about this painting is Van Gogh did not sign this work. It has been authenticated as being done by Van Gogh through three different letters he sent to family and a friend describing plentifully aspects of this piece. Also there exists a large pen drawing of the composition that was found in the artist’s estate.
Many feel that there is a definitive influence of Japanese woodcuts in this painting with the images flat and elegant outlines in black. Van Gogh uses a lot of contrasting colours and tones for this painting bringing in a pulse of colours that contrast with the darkening night sky.
This painting is a true testament to Van Gogh’s Post-Impressionism style.