Vincent van Gogh
Dutch, 1853-1890

The Bedroom, 1889

Oil on canvas
73.6 x 92.3 cm (29 x 36 5/8 in.)
Helen Birch Bartlett Memorial Collection, 1926.417

The Bedroom

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Vincent van Gogh's three versions of this composition are the only record he made of the interior of the Yellow House, where he lived while he was in Arles in the south of France. The house embodied the artist's dream of a "Studio of the South," a community of like-minded artists working in harmony to create art for the future. The first version of The Bedroom (Van Gogh Museum, Amsterdam) was one of the paintings Van Gogh made to decorate the house in anticipation of the arrival of his first guest, Paul Gauguin. "It's just simply my bedroom," he wrote, "only here color is to do everything ... to be suggestive here of rest or of sleep in general. In a word, looking at the picture ought to rest the brain, or rather the imagination." Gauguin's stay at the Yellow House would be fraught with tension: after two months, Van Gogh's self-mutilation and Gauguin's flight back to Paris ended the Studio of the South. Van Gogh made this second version of The Bedroom about a year after the first, while he was living at an asylum in Saint-Rémy.

— Permanent collection label