The Bedroom

Painting of bedroom, blue walls, green window, tan bed, red bedding
CC0 Public Domain Designation

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  • Painting of bedroom, blue walls, green window, tan bed, red bedding

Date:

1889

Artist:

Vincent van Gogh (Dutch, 1853-1890)

About this artwork

Vincent van Gogh so highly esteemed his bedroom painting that he made three distinct versions: the first, now in the collection of the Van Gogh Museum, Amsterdam; the second, belonging to the Art Institute of Chicago, painted a year later on the same scale and almost identical; and a third, smaller canvas in the collection of the Musée d’Orsay, Paris, which he made as a gift for his mother and sister. Van Gogh conceived the first Bedroom in October 1888, a month after he moved into his “Yellow House” in Arles, France. This moment marked the first time the artist had a home of his own, and he had immediately and enthusiastically set about decorating, painting a suite of canvases to fill the walls. Completely exhausted from the effort, he spent two-and-a-half days in bed and was then inspired to create a painting of his bedroom. As he wrote to his brother Theo, “It amused me enormously doing this bare interior. With a simplicity à la Seurat. In flat tints, but coarsely brushed in full impasto, the walls pale lilac, the floor in a broken and faded red, the chairs and the bed chrome yellow, the pillows and the sheet very pale lemon green, the bedspread blood-red, the dressing-table orange, the washbasin blue, the window green. I had wished to express utter repose with all these very different tones.” Although the picture symbolized relaxation and peace to the artist, to our eyes the canvas seems to teem with nervous energy, instability, and turmoil, and effect heightened by the sharply receding perspective.

On View

European Painting and Sculpture, Gallery 241

Artist

Vincent van Gogh

Title

The Bedroom

Origin

Netherlands

Date

1889

Medium

Oil on canvas

Dimensions

73.6 × 92.3 cm (29 × 36 5/8 in.)

Credit Line

Helen Birch Bartlett Memorial Collection

Reference Number

1926.417

Extended information about this artwork

Object information is a work in progress and may be updated as new research findings emerge. To help improve this record, please email .

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