The painting of Vincent Van Gogh’s bedroom belonging to The Art Institute of Chicago will be re-united with another of the three known examples of the subject for the first time, from 3 September. It will hang at the Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam next to the bedroom owned by this Museum, both masterpieces are part of an exhibition titled ‘Van Gogh At Work’.
Van Gogh depicted his bedroom in the Yellow House, furnished with simple pine furniture and featuring his own paintings. Over the bed hang his portraits of the poet Eugène Boch and the soldier Paul-Eugène Milliet.
Color and Perspective are the most striking aspects of these works. They 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 askew.
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.
Van Gogh 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.