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van Gogh’s Night Cafe



To be honest, I didn’t know this painting existed till a few days back. I don’t remember how exactly I came across it, but I did. I knew van Gogh from the usual suspects, Sunflowers, self portraits, Starry Starry Nights…

Art doesn’t normally evoke a visceral response from me. I like the technique, the effort, the vision but in a more detached way, so to speak. This one did. I could almost feel I was inside the painting. A cold, dark night outside, a welcoming, warm, yellow glow inside..a small place, a few regulars seated around, and nearest to me? An inviting chair already pulled out. Who wouldn’t enter? This was a place for lost souls, for the tired and beaten down. The cold darkness outside couldn’t hurt them in here. No one would come to mock and abuse and deride them. Not here, not at this time. This was a place that offered a haven to me. The awkward legs of the pool table, the almost childish light effects around the lamps overhead, none of that mattered right now. I could sit here all night long, sharing a drink with fellow non-talkers silently. Well, that was how it struck me.

To read a critique/artistic review, head to the source here

I can almost hear someone think, “There might be some hope for this philistine yet He might grow up and understand art.” Sorry to disappoint you, but I’m not moving beyond the Impressionists, save for the rare exception.


About hbhatnagar

I need to fill this up with much better content than I had populated it with earlier. Why I write a blog maybe? I started blogging in 2009 or thereabouts. I was a newly turned atheist and wanted to converse with others of the same persuasion. We're not exactly a big population group in India! It didn't go very well and I sort of lost interest, posting a few things now and then. I got a lot more regular over the last few months and have been posting almost daily since February '15. There were many reasons why I gradually became more regular in posting, but one way or the other, here I am! So this blog has taken shape, being at different points in time my showcase, my comedy club, my art gallery, my book club, my therapist, my close friend, my innermost self....but always my little corner of the world. You are all welcome to visit and I hope you stay awhile! A few points about me because I don't want to lead anyone on(and trust me this does become an issue more often than I'd care to admit). I'm Indian, the brown-skinned variety; if race, ethnicity or skin colour is an issue, you don't have to get to know me any more than what you see on my blog. I'm 40, so if age is an issue, please be informed accordingly. I was a doctor, an ophthalmic surgeon for 10 years before I quit practice.


20 thoughts on “van Gogh’s Night Cafe

  1. I could swear I wrote a comment about the pool table.. but if not I too never seen it before. I love the starry starry night song too. –smile–


    Posted by booguloo | 27/06/2015, 9:12 PM
  2. Thank you for introducing this painting and sharing your thoughts. I didn’t know much about this painting.

    Liked by 1 person

    Posted by Amy | 27/06/2015, 5:43 PM
  3. I stared at this for a good five minutes and felt nothing that you did. It’s true then, I’m really made of stone.


    Posted by Uday | 27/06/2015, 4:18 PM
    • Why? Art affects us all very differently. And I am not affected by anything Picasso ever painted; it’s just daubs on canvas to me. Look around, you’ll find art you’ll respond to, I’m sure. πŸ™‚


      Posted by hbhatnagar | 27/06/2015, 7:53 PM
      • I really do wonder why paintings don’t move me as much. As I do respond to all other art forms. I think the only one that whirred up something inside me is the ‘The Last Supper’. Just the amount of detail and emotion that Da vinci tries to capture along with the ‘geometrically realistic’ backdrop was fascinating for me.

        Maybe I just need to spend some time in an art gallery πŸ™‚


        Posted by Uday | 27/06/2015, 8:38 PM
      • We’re all wired differently. For instance, instrumental music doesn’t do much for me, though there are the odd occasions. Experience what you like, and always give anything new a couple of tries is what I always say! πŸ™‚

        Liked by 1 person

        Posted by hbhatnagar | 27/06/2015, 9:14 PM
  4. I’m not familiar with that painting as well. Thanks for posting about it πŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

    Posted by abyssbrain | 27/06/2015, 3:12 PM
  5. That would explain my dream this morning, with a naked Egyptian conscripts trying to stave off an invasion of pearl white bandage mini dress wearing Greeks, who jogged daintily rather than ran. Guess which team of men I was running in front of. Hint, I said, “Hey, you’re hitting me…” a lot. x


    Posted by Sabiscuit | 27/06/2015, 11:33 AM
  6. Thank you Amy! πŸ™‚


    Posted by hbhatnagar | 08/06/2017, 8:54 PM


  1. Pingback: Throwback Thursday: Starry Starry Night | The World Is a Book... - 08/06/2017

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