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This remarkable and enduring achievement of Western painting was to the artist merely an experiment that would lead to the creation of two of his equally renowned works, the “Starry Night” and “Starry Night” Over the Rhone. Vincent Van Gogh described his 1888 scene as simply “a night picture without any black in it”. This clunky description began the gradual process of refining his color-schema towards the staggering achievement of his final works; each of which constitute a terrifying vortex of hope and descent. Yet “Cafe Terrace on the Place du Forum, Arles, at Night” is no pencil study or preparatory work, it is a guttural sigh of frustration and relief, captured awkwardly from the pavement of a small-town street in southern France. His blue nighttime seems to stretch on forever, that is if it weren’t for the halting stop caused by the placement of a looming church. Van Gogh sought refuge in the picturesque town of Arles in early 1888 in the hope of recovering from a series of mental and physical ailments. For a brief period the troubled soul enjoyed exploring the labyrinthine streets, and even struck up a relationship with the proprietress of the café depicted in this scene. Yet this short intermission between two periods of gloom was short-lived. Having invited his close friend and fellow artist Paul Gauguin to join him in the town — hoping the pair would enjoy together a period of productivity and creativity — the pair soon argued and the fragile Van Gogh sliced off his own ear as penance, leading to a spiral of mental collapse that would lead to his death.