The bedroom, 1888

Vincent van Gogh (1853-1890)

  • Oil on Canvas, 72 X 90 cm
  • Van Gogh Museum, Amsterdam (Vincent van Gogh Foundation)
  • F 482

The bedroom has undergone detailed restoration in 2010. Read all about the restoration process in the 'Bedroom secrets' blog.

Here, Van Gogh has depicted his bedroom in the Yellow House, furnished with simple pine furniture and his own paintings. Over the bed hang his portraits of the poet Eugène Boch and the soldier Paul-Eugène Milliet.

Color and Perspective
The most striking aspects of this work are the bright patches of contrasting color, the thickly applied paint and the odd perspective. The rear wall appears strangely angled. This is not a mistake: this corner of the Yellow House was, in fact, slightly skewed. (See painting The Yellow House)

Elsewhere, however, the objects seem to tilt upward because the artist has not applied the laws of perspective accurately. Van Gogh worked this way on purpose. In a letter to Theo he stated that he had “flattened” the interior and left out the shadows so that his picture would more closely resemble a Japanese print. (See painting The Courtesan). But the artist was interested in more than just making a Japanese image. The simple interior and bright colors were meant to convey notions of “rest” and “sleep,” both literally and figuratively.



More information about "The bedroom"

Two More Versions

Van Gogh painted two other versions of The Bedroom. The original had been damaged and Theo advised his brother to make a copy before having it restored.

It is interesting to see how Van Gogh repeated the subject without, however, making an exact copy. Theo’s request was an expression of his admiration for the picture, and Van Gogh, too, was proud of his work. Encouraged by the result, he made a third, smaller version, which he gave as a gift to his mother and sister, Willemien.

Discoloration of 'The bedroom': video

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