The Bedroom, 1888

Vincent van Gogh
Van Gogh Museum, Amsterdam

This is Van Gogh’s painting of his bedroom in the Yellow House, furnished with simple, pine furniture and his own paintings. The portraits hanging on the wall over the bed show the Belgian painter Eugène Boch and the soldier Paul-Eugène Milliet.

Research shows that the strongly contrasting colours we see in the work today are the result of significant discolouration over the years. The walls and doors, for instance, were originally purple rather than blue. The apparently odd angle of the rear wall is not a mistake on Van Gogh’s part – the corner really was skewed. The rules of perspective do not appear, however, to have been accurately applied throughout the painting. This was a deliberate choice: Vincent told Theo in a letter that he had deliberately ‘flattened’ the interior and left out the shadows so that his picture would resemble a Japanese print.

The simple interior and bright colours were meant to evoke ‘rest’ or ‘sleep’. Van Gogh hoped his paintings would bring comfort – to himself in the first instance, but to others as well. He later wrote to Theo about the same painting: ‘When I saw my canvases again after my illness, what seemed to me the best was the bedroom.’

Price: HK$ 268,000

Dimensions: 72.4 cm (H) x 91.3 cm (W)

 

 

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