A Slice of the Night Life

A Slice of the Night Life

“Café Terrace at Night,” or, sometimes, “Coffehouse, in the Evening,” by Vincent Van Gogh, has always been one of my favorite works of art in general. It depicts a small scene in the night life of a city. Nothing in particular is going on, it’s mostly just a scene of the city going about it’s business. So, what makes it so interesting? Well, that is not a simple question, and it has many answers. However, there are a couple that speak to me.

First, is just the nature of the painting itself. As I said before, it’s a slice of life from a city at night. Cities are always different at night, no matter where or when you go. This painting isn’t about famous people, an epic moment, or even a particularly nice-looking building. It’s about capturing the mood and feel of a place that still has a lot of life after it’s ostensibly gone to sleep.

van gogh

Second, the use of color. Color is a hard thing to talk about, certainly, and much of it comes down to taste anyway. But with Van Gogh, there is something solid you can put your finger on. It helps that Van Gogh specifically mentioned his techniques on this piece in a letter. He used little to no black in this painting The night sky shines with stars, and is a mix of deep blues, not black. He used this effect more famously in some other works, like The Starry Night, though this is the earliest known example.

Hopefully this will give you a little more insight into one of my favorite pieces, and one of Van Gogh’s best.

van gogh starry night with martboard and picture frame

Recommended Reading

Let It Snow, Let It Snow

Let It Snow, Let It Snow It’s been a long, cold few weeks for a lot of us. Cold weather and ice can be a big pain or worse for sure. However, it can also be beautiful and fun. We always try to focus on the beautiful things in the world at Matboard and More …

read more »
We’re on a Boat

We’re on a Boat I will admit, most of what I knew about Renoir came from the movie Amelie. It’s a great movie that I would recommend to anyone, certainly, but not the best place to turn if you want to learn more about Renoir. However, I hope to at least show you a little …

read more »
Happy New Year!

Happy New Year! New Year’s Eve is one of my favorite holidays. It’s just about having fun! It’s about saying farewell to the old year and looking forward to the next. Weather you make resolutions, or take a Polar Plunge, or just have a good time, New Year’s Eve is just great. And it wouldn’t …

read more »
A Little Bit About Jacob Lawrence

A Little Bit About Jacob Lawrence I had seen a few of Jacob Lawrence’s pieces from time to time, though I had never known his name. I was recently able to put a name to the pieces I had seen, and decided to read a little more about him and his style. It is a …

read more »
A Little Light on the Nighthawks

A Little Light on the Nighthawks I have liked Hopper’s “Nighthawks” since I first saw it. It’s one of the more famous pieces of American art, so I thought I would take a close look at it this week. If you’d like to do the same from the comfort of your own home, you can …

read more »
Van Gogh’s Lonesome Sale

Van Gogh’s Lonesome Sale It is one of the sadder facts of Van Gogh’s life that he only sold one painting while he was alive. We will look into that in a little bit, but for now I want to concentrate on this painting. As often as I had heard that story, I realized I …

read more »
Love is in the Air…

Love is in the Air… Valentine’s Day is right around the corner. It can be tough to find a great present every year, but don’t worry- we’re here to help. We have some special Valentine’s Matboards that you can order hassle free, and have a memorable, touching gift for the special someone in your life. …

read more »
A New Year, a New Photo Contest!

A New Year, a New Photo Contest!   December’s winner is this excellent piece from Instagram! Submitted by HiGirlie760, this piece reminded us of everything like we like about summer.  PRIZES The winner will get a $100 Matboard and More Gift Card.   HOW TO ENTER Upload your photo of your art with our mats or frames using any …

read more »
The Unpaintable City- Monet in Venice

The Unpaintable City- Monet in Venice We’re in the holiday rush here at Matboard and More, just like some of you I’m sure! There’s still time to get in Christmas orders, so have a look at our new multi-opening frames. However, even when busy, it’s important to take some time to enjoy yourself. As a …

read more »
Items per page:
1 - 9 of 128
You Have An Unfinished Order