The Bedroom
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ssohail's picture


Ah, me. Another one from the Vincent Chronicles.

This time, it’s a second version of The Bedroom that obviously carries undertones of hope that will be crushed by inevitable misery! I don’t think anything by VVG makes me happy because I KNOW his life was so sad.

But you gotta give it to the guy for trying. He was hellbent on impressing future roomie, Paul Gauguin and painted a few canvases to light up the walls of his yellow house in Arles. This painting of van Gogh’s bedroom was one of them, and the second version was painted just for fear of the first one getting damaged, while the third one was made in a smaller size for his mom and sis. So you’ve pretty much figured out by now that this was a personal favorite of van Gogh’s. Because believe it or not, he thought these paintings came from a very happy place. And we know how tough that place must’ve been to find in the life of Vincent van Gogh! So, by painting these different versions of the same painting, he thought he was reproducing a type of self-portrait from better times. Which is super sad in and of itself.

Like I said, anything van Gogh, even if it’s positive, is bound to be followed up by lots of sad. This bedroom and house is also where van Gogh got into raucous arguments with Gauguin and got mad depressed. But van Gogh thought the colors in the painting were super important for a very specific reason. He wrote to his bro, Theo, about the painting that, “Colors are to do everything”…and in this case everything suggests a feeling of calm and serenity. Hmm, that palette looks a bit too bright and bold for a spa interior, but it doesn’t hurt the eyes either.

The Bedroom also has its very own Lichtenstein version, for your Ben-day dot viewing pleasure. And Art Institute of Chicago actually rented out a real-life version of this bedroom!! That’s right, you could be kicking it van Gogh style in Chicago’s River North neighborhood. Get to Airbnb at your speediest and check if these modest lodgings are still available to help you feel like a tortured artist (and for $10/night, it’s a steal!). At least all posthumous van Gogh stories end in a capitalist happily ever after!