Hidden meanings

108714_cafe_terrace_at_night_van_gogh

Café terrace at night is an artwork done by Vincent Van Gogh with many hidden meanings in the piece. He picked the perfect colors to incorporate into his painting. Even though it was a night scene there is very few spots that are filled in with black. He finished this oil painting in 1888. His father was a minister and he was raised in a very religious household. Many people say that this night scene represents the Last Supper because of the influence he had in his family. The colors of the piece draw to the scene that is happening outside a café. Looking closer you start to see that there are twelve people surrounding the central figure in the middle. The person in the center has longer hair and many people say that this person represents Jesus Christ. You can interpret that Jesus is talking to his twelve disciples. It even looks like there is a person leaving the group and this would resemble Judas the disciple who betrayed Christ. There also some crosses that are hidden into the scene. The most obvious cross would be behind the Christ figure in the middle. He never made it clear but people can infer that this masterpiece had something to do with a religious scenario. Other people think that the Christ figure is just the waiter taking orders for the restaurant. Nobody is certain that this represents the last supper. Vincent van Gogh had a very unordinary life. He was born on March 30, 1853 in Groot-Zundert, Netherlands. He Family was in financial troubles, with that being said he was forced to leave school and work with his uncle. His uncle worked at an art dealership named Goupil and Cie. By this time he was fluent in French, German, and English. Van Gogh fell in love with a women that denied his marriage proposal. He was in great grief and threw away all of his books except the Bible. It wasn’t until this incident that he devoted his life to religion. This ended quickly when he had to take a Latin exam. He hated the Latin language calling it a “dead language” and was denied entrance to become a minister. Van Gogh art helped him stay emotionally balanced. He worked by himself a lot because he didn’t get along with others very well. One incident when Van Gogh was working with Gauguin he got into an argument. This escalated and his anger in this situation rose enough for him to chop off his own ear. After this he was hospitalized and diagnosed with depression. He could never get passed this sickness and later shot himself on July 29, 1890. He was only Thirty-seven when he died. He struggled with mental illness and was poor throughout his life. His artwork became much more popular after his death.

Luke Aleisa

Questions

1. Would you interpret this piece as representing the Last supper?
2. Do you think Van Gogh wanted to draw people into the café scene?
3. Is there any other crosses hidden in the artwork
https://news.artnet.com/art-world/vincent-van-gogh-last-supper-cafe-terrace-at-night-275282

https://news.artnet.com/art-world/vincent-van-gogh-last-supper-cafe-terrace-at-night-275282

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10 thoughts on “Hidden meanings

  1. Van Gogh is my favorite artist, just because his art work is different than everyone else around that time, his art has realism yet it looks abstract because of the brush strokes. He uses similar vibrant, complementary colors in all his art pieces and to me they look awesome. After reading your blog and looking closer at the painting i can see a possible deeper meaning too. Even though i can’t make out all 12 of the figures at the back i can see the cross above them and given that his family was religious, it could be true that he was hiding a message in his work.
    The scene is at a cafe in the latter hours of the day so around supper time possibly, and having Jesus and his 12 disciples in the back at that time makes perfect sense.

  2. I would have never thought this painting was interpret as the last supper. When I first looked at the painting my interpretation was different . Its people leaving the café after a great night of conversation with a friend or love one. As I look at the painting I do see a crucifix behind were Christ is suppose to be, but I don’t see all twelve disciples. The colors that he used for this painting give the painting a lot of light to be night time.

  3. I did ten years in Catholic school and wouldn’t have thought this was a Last Supper representation but I can see it after you explained it. I definitely get the feeling of being drawn into the cafe scene. All the lines point to the cross in the center of the picture. When I first saw the painting I could tell it was night even though he didn’t use many dark colors. I think it’s because of those bright yellows under the awning. They give a feel of artificial light where there should be shade. I do see two more crosses. One to the right and left of the main one. Also if you look in the foreground there are three white paths leading to the crosses. This may be Jesus’ path and the paths of the two other men crucified with him.

  4. I never would think this represents anything related to the last supper. It does just look like a waiter taking orders. After reading what you wrote, I can see how that is what he was trying to hide into the painting. It seems like something you would look at, and just walk by saying it is just a piece about a cafe. That might be what he was trying for. I’m sure if you look at any art for long enough, you might be able to find different meaning in it. Be it on accident or purposeful by the artist. I only see the cross behind the Jesus/waiter.

  5. I didn’t think at first that this work of art depicted the last supper at all, but taking into consideration that there are 12 people and a long haired man in the middle I can see how it could be interpreted that way.

  6. I love this painting because of how unique it is. To me, all of Van Gogh’s works of art seem to be very purposeful. Everything from the colors to the lines to the positioning of the focal points in the painting seem to help bring out the beauty in his paintings. I would have never guessed this painting could be trying to depict the last super scene in anyway. However after looking at the painting closely and reading about the phase in his life that he was going through at the time, I think he could have very well been trying to depict the last super. The element that stands out to me the most in the painting is the use of lines. It almost feels as if every line serves a purpose as it draws the viewer’s eyes from one point to another. The lines seem to make the painting easier to look at or navigate through. Many of these lines do make a cross and the one behind the central figure seems to be there for a reason. All in all, I really enjoyed this painting.

  7. At first I didn’t know what to make of the piece I have seen it all around but never looked in depth to it. I can see how it resembles or is trying to portray the last supper with the people in the background and all of the references you demonstrated. I think Van Gogh was trying to relate this piece to others and the lives they have, as cafes are very common it gives it a sense of realness and accuracy. I also did spot a cross in the background of the piece but without you asking it, it would have never caught my attention.

  8. 1. Would you interpret this piece as representing the Last supper? No. I don’t think so because It gives me a very different feel, and its in a different environment.
    2. Do you think Van Gogh wanted to draw people into the café scene? Maybe, possibly
    3. Is there any other crosses hidden in the artwork? I don’t know

  9. When looking at this piece I would have never thought it was a representation of the last supper. To me it looks like a normal café setting. Once you pointed out the different aspects of the last supper within this piece, it is clear that it could be a representation of it. It is hard to tell if he wanted to put people in this scene because they are not the main focus. I did not see any other crosses within this painting.

  10. I would not interpret this piece as representing the Last Supper. I actually count less than 12 people around the tables, but more than 12 in the entire image. The figure in the center looks like a waiter, and the cross behind him is just a door. I don’t see any other crosses in the painting. Not to say it isn’t a representation of the Last Supper, I just don’t see it. Regardless, I still love the painting.

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