Of all Van Gogh’s paintings, I’ve always found this one to be the most beautiful. The blending of colors and the way you can almost feel the warmth of the candlelight through the screen makes me feel safe and comforted.
That being said, I learned years ago that Van Gogh was an outcast during his life, and the people of his town weren’t very fond of him. Some were even quite cruel towards the artist. Knowing that and that he still saw the beauty of his town and the people and wanted to paint them despite the way they treated him stirs a particular strain of sympathetic sadness in me.
Every time I look at the painting, a get a sense of melancholy that accompanies the warmth I feel from the yellows and blues of the scenery. I’m reminded of the care Van Gogh had for his craft and how desperately he wanted to convey the world he saw around him to everyone else, no matter how they treated him. It moves me to try and be more compassionate and caring in my own life.