Throwback Thursday: Van Gogh

Café Terrace at Night


Left: Van Gogh’s Café Terrace at Night (on Place du Forum)  Arles, 1888

Right:  Same spot,  ‘Le Café La Nuit’ on Place du Forum in daylight, Arles, 2016

The spot may be less picturesque on a bright spring morning in 2016, but it’s still vibrant enough to cast its light into the darker streets.  Notice the yellow shirt on the passerby?  In my mind, it’s really a plain white tee that takes the gold cast once he steps within the fabled space of the Café Terrace .  After he strolls on past,  it resumes its ho-hum identity as a plain white tee.  (How could it possibly be otherwise?)

A little Van Gogh magic– it’s powerful stuff.


14 thoughts on “Throwback Thursday: Van Gogh

  1. I wonder how many folks have been to that spot. I saw your opening shots and it was instant recognition. And I exited that trip with a greater appreciation for Van Gogh.

  2. I’m with you on the tee shirt! Notice how the eye moves from the yellow building, to the yellow terrace awnings, to the yellow tee shirt. A smooth swath of butter yellow. Perfect! Thanks for sharing!

    1. We left Arles too early for that– on our way to a light show (Carrieres des Lumieres in Baux de Provence, which was brilliant and I’ll need to write a post about it some day). Still, it’s something to keep in mind for another trip in the years ahead!

    1. Van Gogh is perfection! It was a cool area. Would have been nice to go back at night–as another reader suggested–and dine on the terrace. Maybe even try absinthe? I’ll save that for the next trip.

  3. Ann, this comparison of famous paintings and the same location today is a fabulous idea. I can imagine a whole series using different artists and locations. Excellent idea…really. ~James

    1. Thanks so much. No so much my idea, as a happy thing I stumbled upon while in Arles. Glad you enjoyed it. (Maybe I’ll have to save up some cash to travel my way around old artists’ haunts now and do a series!)

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