How Vincent Van Gogh Created Optical Anxiety With His Deliberate Use of Conflicting Color in ‘Night Café’

Vlogger Evan Puschak aka The Nerdwriter takes a look at the Vincent Van Gogh masterpiece “Night Café” (“Le Café de nuit”), the painting that the artist considered to be his ugliest work of all. Puschak explains that Van Gogh was probably referring to the ugliness of the colors (red green) he purposely used to create such optical anxiety to portray such a lonely room with a suffocating yellow light that compromised the color of everything else in the room. Van Gogh had written to his brother about using these colors, so the color effect was absolutely deliberate.

I’ve tried to express the terrible human passions with red and green. …Everywhere it’s an anti-thesis of greens and reds.