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Monday 22 December  
Vincent van Gogh's The Bedroom
Philip Smet's picture
Amsterdam, Netherlands
Amsterdam, Netherlands

Van Gogh’s “Bedroom” cleaned up again

Published on : 3 September 2010 - 1:20pm | By Philip Smet (Photo: RNW/Philip Smet)
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With precision instruments and painstaking patience, Amsterdam’s Van Gogh Museum has completed a six-month cleaning and restoration of The Bedroom by Vincent van Gogh. The Bedroom is once again clean and fresh. 

“Looking at this painting should create a feeling of inner rest. Or rather, create the illusion of,” Vincent van Gogh wrote to his brother, Theo. Then, the artist identifies the different colours that he has used for the interior: pale violet, red, yellow – “like freshly-churned butter” – and lemon green.
The Bedroom is a familiar image. Van Gogh painted it in October 1888 in his Arles studio in the south of France. He painted it to liven up his own house. The artist himself considered it one of his best works; in the Van Gogh Museum today, it is also one of the most loved paintings.

Earlier restoration work on The Bedroom caused considerable damage. The artist himself hadn’t been so careful when it was damaged by moisture in Arles. Van Gogh pressed newspaper to the canvas to protect it from further deterioration, and later rolled it up and sent it to his brother Theo in Paris.

Art restorer Ella Hendriks picked and scraped away yellowing varnish from the painting, millimetre by millimetre. As she worked with cotton buds under a microscope, she discovered that many of the original colours were different. Some new details even appeared when the layers of old varnish were removed. Ms Hendriks has described the process on her blog.
“We miss The Bedroom,” wrote a Spaniard in the visitors’ book a couple of months ago. The Bedroom has been returned to its place on the wall in the Amsterdam museum. But not for long – the painting will soon be on its way to a major Van Gogh exhibition in Japan.


S.E.Hendriksen 7 September 2010 - 11:35pm / Greenland

Dear Ella Hendriks, Fleur and Alex

All three of you has slept in van Gogh’s bedroom for 6 month, so to speak, none of you detected that the bedroom has a left-handed design.

a) the head-end of the bed with the pillows, a right-handed person would have selected the other end of the bed.
b) the mug-ear pointing to the left and
c) the water glass easy to grab for a lefthander.

BTW Vincent van Gogh painted his famous self-portrait at the easel earlier in 1888… he actually present himself as a left-handed artist on that self-portrait.

a) use the button as fixing point
b) buttons on men’s clothing are always sewed to the right side
c) Vincent holds his palette and brushes with his right hand… I assume he painted with the left
d) it doesn’t matter if the painting is reversed or not, buttons is fixed on the right side

The VGM claims that the 1888 self-portrait is reflected from a mirror down to the slightest detail, but the 1888 self-portrait is NOT reversed… it looks like a photo.


Was van Gogh left-handed or right-handed?

Sincerely Yours

Svend Erik Hendriksen
Greenland Art Review

jasmin 7 September 2010 - 9:27am / India

Lovely painting!

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