Cafe Terrace at Night, 1888 by Vincent Van Gogh

In Cafe Terrace at Night the brightly lit cafe radiates with warmth and inviting light, becoming a beacon of yellow set against the rich, dark blue of a night sky, which in turn is illuminated with myriad bright stars. It is an image full of symbolism for the artist, whose works had gradually become more significant in this respect. The underlying symbolism in this and other paintings of a similar nature that he made, however, is one that was understood primarily by the artist, but was not necessarily so obvious to the impartial viewer. This in turn was a further reflection of the personal, almost therapeutic role that Van Gogh's painting had come to represent to him, and was one that would become increasingly so. The artist attached the colour yellow to feelings of religious inspiration, light and happiness and wrote regarding his Yellow House, 'I have had my little house pointed yellow, because I want it to be a house of light for everyone.' applied this feeling to the brightly lit yellow cafe that had been a welcoming haven of sorts for the artist,