The bedroom of Vincent van Gogh
Vincent van Gogh (1853 - 1890), Arles, October 1888
Original: oil on canvas 91.3 x 72.4 cm bxh
In Arles, Van Gogh made this painting of his bedroom at the Yellow House. He had decorated the room himself with simple furniture and his own work on the wall. The bright colours were meant to express 'absolute peace' or 'sleep'. Today, the work has bright contrasting colours: research has shown that parts of the painting have discoloured over time. For example, the walls and doors were not originally blue, but purple.
The back wall of the room appears to be tilted. This was no mistake on Van Gogh's part. The wall was indeed not at right angles to the others. Still, it seems as if he did not apply the laws of perspective precisely everywhere, but that was a deliberate choice. He wrote to Theo that he had deliberately painted the interior "flat" and omitted all shadows to make it look like Japanese prints. Van Gogh was very pleased with the painting: 'When I looked back at my canvases after my illness, I thought the Bedroom was the best'. This masterpiece by Vincent van Gogh is on display in the Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam. Read more about the life and work of Vincent van Gogh on his painter page.
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