You probably remember my love for the city lights thanks to my Praise of Light. So today I wanted to talk to you about the delight that I feel whenever I see a painting by Van Gogh.
One night, Vincent Van Gogh paints that picture on the hills of Saint Rémy de Provence. He doesn't name it because he only considers it as a study of how to depict night time on paintings. He then sends it to his brother Théo and admits to him his disappointement in his own work. His brother agrees. To them, the painting is a failure. La nuit étoilée (Stary Night), named that way a posteriori, became the most famous and liked painting in the world. Talk about a failure !
|La nuit étoilée (Stary Night)|
If it is a failure, then it is a magnifiscent failure. The contrast between the complementary colors (yellow and blue) is very important in Van Gogh's work. This contrast gives an intensity to the painting that very few other painters can boast about. The whirls in the sky captivates our eyes but then we're attracted by the lights they shine. To me, the painting just sparkles.
|Nuit étoilée au-dessus du Rhône |
(Stary Night Over the Rhône River)
This is the true Nuit étoilée by Van Gogh. It was renamed La nuit étoilée au-dessus du Rhône (Stary Night Over the Rhône River), in order to differenciate it from the other but was painted one year before. Therefore the original title was destined for it. What fascinates me in this painting isn't the couple sitting on the foreground, however lost they seem to be in this stretch of water. It isn't the stary sky that gave its name to the painting.
What fascintates me is the reflection of the lights on the river. Like a mirror of the nocturnal life of a city full of lights. Like a link between the water and the ground. I almost feel like getting into the painting to sit in a bar on the bench and capture the moment.
|Terrasse du café le soir|
(Café Terrace at Night)
That very moment, Van Gogh beautifully managed to capture it on this painting. We are back on the dry land. In the city. In these alleys illuminated by the buildings windows, by the intimate life. On this square that seems so typical that anyone (at least in Europe) can refer to. This painting smells like summer and the drinks you have with your friends at a terrace. It smells like white wine and open air concert.
This paintings can talk. It has the power to depict ours memories.
(translated from French by Absolute B)