… artificial wakefulness in wine red, lamp yellow, deep and utterly shallow green…
Rainer Maria Rilke to Clara Rilke
Rilke goes to Bernheim’s gallery to see Rodin’s drawings, but there he encounters van Gogh again.
There is only a couple of sentences in today’s segment, and the painting Rilke talks about. I didn’t want to dilute the sheer power of synergy between this painting and the words.
OCTOBER 17, 1907 (PART 2)
First Mr. Bernheim took me to his storage room and showed me: van Goghs. The night café I already wrote about;
but a lot more could be said about its artificial wakefulness in wine red, lamp yellow, deep and utterly shallow green, with three mirrors, each of which contains a different emptiness.
STORYLINE: COLORS AND WORDS
How can something be both deep and utterly shallow?
And yet, this paradoxical phrase captures the quality of this painting’s green with perfect precision.
SEEING PRACTICE: COLOR
There is striking, painful, naked simplicity in this color composition. But for all its simplicity, I think no one but van Gogh could have pulled this off.
I don’t want to influence your perception here, but if you are interested in my take on it, you can read it here (preferably after you’ve spent some time with the painting on your own).