discover the places where Vincent lived and worked

Café du Forum
Arles, France

  • September 9, 1888 - September 14, 1888

In September 1888, Vincent painted the world-famous Café Terrace at Night. He made the work on location outside the Café du Forum on Place du Forum:

“In the past they used to draw, and paint the picture from the drawing in the daytime. But I find that it suits me to paint the thing straightaway. It’s quite true that I may take a blue for a green in the dark, a blue lilac for a pink lilac, since you can’t make out the nature of the tone clearly. But it’s the only way of getting away from the conventional black night with a poor, pallid and whitish light, while in fact a mere candle by itself gives us the richest yellows and oranges.” Read the complete letter

Vincent’s nocturnal painting drew the attention of the local press. On 30 September 1888, L’Homme de Bronze reported:

“Mr Vincent, an Impressionist painter, works, we are told, in the evening, by the light of the gas lamps, in one of our squares.”


Marije Vellekoop, Roelie Zwikker
Vincent van Gogh, tekeningen, deel 4: Arles, Saint-Rémy, Auvers-sur-Oise
Amsterdam, 2007

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