In Vincent Van Gogh and, The Last

In the two works of art, Cafe Terrace At Night, a painting by Vincent Van Gogh and, The Last Supper, a poem by Rania Maria Rilke, the similarities between the two messages that the pieces of art share are very obvious. The artworks are trying to unveil a message of Christianity. For example, In Cafe Terrace at Night, the scene portrayed is a symbolist last supper. However, In The Last Supper the poem, besides the name, you would have a hard time guessing it to be about Jesus. In further detail The message that the arts are trying to convey are this: Jesus is everywhere you are, you just have to look for him. The poem and the painting both have solid pieces of evidence that they have more meaning than what is seen with the naked eye. By digging deeper into the poem, The Last Supper by Rania Maria Rilke, it begins to be easier to see that the two works of art I am comparing have similarities. First of all, in the poem, the setting is clearly depicted as Jesus with his twelve disciples the night before his crucifixion, also known as The Last Supper. The setting doesn’t need further proof because the title of the poem is “The Last Supper.”  The tone of the poem is serious. The text suggest this by including a stanza that states, “He feels the ancient loneliness to-day That taught Him all His deepest acts of love; Now in the olive groves He soon will rove, And these who love Him all will flee away.”(Rilke 3.2). Words like loneliness, rove, and flee all are words that provide a serious tone, especially if you have the background of Jesus’ last night.(analysis). Also, to express the theme even further, the poem states “But He Is everywhere, like dusk at fall of night(Rilke 5.7).” this is the recurring theme in both of the artworks, and it actually physically appears in this poem.Our poet, René Karl Wilhelm Johann Josef Maria Rilke or Rania Maria Rilke, was a German poet born in the Czech Republic on December 4, 1875(biography.com). Rania often was very consistent with his poems and one of those topics in Rilke’s writing was religion. Some of his works that dealt with the topic of religion were Duino Elegies and Sonnets to Orpheus, plus Rania’s style consist of the at-the-time German song folklore, including lyrical poetry. Rania was   the son of a catholic priest, which, may of influenced his writing such as the two poems stated above. One account of Rilke’s writing states, “Rilke’s most immediate and obvious influence has been upon diction and imagery. Rilke expressed ideas with physical rather than intellectual symbols(poetryfoundation.org).” Rilke used themes in his writing, and that is why he was as popular as he was. Moving on, Poetryfoundation.org states, “Whenever Rilke writes about God, however, he is not referring to the deity in the traditional sense, but rather uses the term to refer to the life force, or nature, or an all-embodying, pantheistic consciousness that is only slowly coming to realize its existence(6.1-4). This further adds to the religion argument that Rilke mainly focused his work on religion.The painting, Cafe Terrace at Night, by Vincent Van Gogh is and was a center of controversy in the late 1800’s. The painting’s release was unknown to the public until five years after the actual release. The scene contains a clear night sky with several people just enjoying their night, however, after analyzing you will notice an unusual scene at the cafe. There are twelve dark men with one man with a beard and a white robe in the center. This is Jesus. There is also a man straying away from the meeting, and this is most likely Judas. Judas was the disciple who snitched on Jesus, which lead to his Crucifixion. The theme of the poem can be considered to be calm since nothing out of the usual can be seen upon your first glance. In other words, If you were you were walking down the street, and you stumbled upon this scene, you would most likely keep walking. Finally,  This scene contains many depictions of symbolism. The horse, Jesus, his disciples, and Judas Listing the symbolism you will find the horse. The horse symbolizes death coming for Jesus, as it depicts a man who, appears to be an executioner, riding on a black horse. The crowd surrounding Jesus are his disciples since they are all the same color, and there are twelve of them. Last but not least is Judas. There is a silhouette of a man in the painting who can be seen straying away from the other “disciples.” In case you have no prior knowledge of the bible, Judas was the disciple who sold Jesus out for money. This is why he is not facing “Jesus,” and is straying away from the crowd.The artist of this particular painting is Vincent Van Gogh. He was a very famous poet who lived in the 1800s and some of the 1900s. Some of his famous works included Cafe Terrace At Night, Starry Night, and his self portrait. He was also famous for his abstract art, which was very trippy and unique among other artist at the time. Moving on, like Rilke, he was also the son of a catholic priest. This may of have influenced his work like it may have with Rilke. According to THINK.IAFOR.ORG, Van Gogh was, “One of the most storied and celebrated artists, Vincent Van Gogh, is also one of the most scrutinized and let’s be honest, over-analyzed(Baxter 1.1).” The article states that he is over analyzed, which in reality he was. This may of him releasing the painting in secret, which is why he was, in fact, controversial.To connect the themes of the poem, the two messages being portrayed is this: Jesus is everywhere you just have to look. This message is very apparent if you know what you are talking about. In the painting, you have to analyze for Jesus, and in the poem, it is never stated that the poem is talking about Jesus. Take it back to where the paragraph talks about the walk on the street. Unless you wanted to see Jesus, you wouldn’t. This seals the case that the themes of the two works of arts is that Jesus is everywhere.To conclude it all, Both artist share enough similarities to suggest that their intended themes are the same. Since they are both sons of religious society members, they both are most likely influenced by that. Their works of art do in fact suggest that Christianity is rewarding to those who are loyal. Honestly, if these two individuals did not exist, it would not impact the world as a whole, but it would impact the subject of art as we know it. Both Van Gogh and Rilke demonstrate their message very effectively through uses of symbolism in their respective pieces of art.

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