How would you like to relive the colourful canvas of Van Gogh and his bedroom?
Airbnb and the Art Institute of Chicago have teamed up, to recreate Van Gogh’s acclaimed painting of his Bedroom in Arles, enabling enthusiasts to spend a night with the walls of this masterpiece.
Vincent Willem Van Gogh (1853-1890), was a Dutch Post-Impressionist and Symbolic artist whose work had extensive impact on 20th-century art.
There have been phases where his paintings have been bright and summery in colour and composition, heavily influenced by the strong sunlight in France contrary to the well-known phase where his unique style showed through his perennial bout of depression. In over a decade, he has created more than 2,100 pieces of art; 860 oil paintings and more than 1,300 watercolours, drawings, sketches and prints.
Whats intriguing though, is that Van Gogh produced three versions of the same painting for various reasons, each unique in its own way. His own title for this composition was simply The Bedroom, at No. 2, The Yellow House, Place Lamartine in Arles, France.
FIRST VERSION – 1888 – Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam
Van Gogh starts painting ‘The Bedroom’ in Arles, he is in sick health and had been bedridden for days already. He explains why the colours feel different to him, his health and hallucinations playing a major role. He apparently slept for 2 days continuously after finishing the painting.
This is how he explains it in his letter, to his beloved brother Theo:
‘This time it simply reproduces my bedroom; but colour must be abundant in this part, its simplification adding a rank of grandeur to the style applied to the objects, getting to suggest a certain rest or dream.
Well, I have thought that on watching the composition we stop thinking and imagining. I have painted the walls pale violet, and the ground with checked material. The wooden bed and the chairs, yellow like fresh butter; the sheet and the pillows, lemon light green.
The bedspread, scarlet coloured. The window, green. The washbasin, orangey; the tank, blue. The doors, lilac.
And, that is all.
There is not anything else in this room with closed shutters. The square pieces of furniture must express unswerving rest; also the portraits on the wall, the mirror, the bottle, and some costumes.
The white colour has not been applied to the picture, so its frame will be white, aimed to get me even with the compulsory rest recommended for me. I have depicted no type of shade or shadow; I have only applied simple plain colours, like those in crêpes.’
SECOND VERSION – 1889 – Art Institute of Chicago
Van Gogh painted the second version in the Saint-Rémy Asylum after mutilating Artist Gauguins’ ear in a petty fight.
Hence it is murkier in colour and more neutral in shade. The dark mood is reflected in its purple walls, the wooden furniture a contrast of brown and beige, and the checked floorboards dusky hue. Though the true reason why he painted it was to preserve the composition, whose stability was threatened after water damage from the Rhone Floods. He then sent both the copies back to Theo.
THIRD VERSION – 1889 – Musée d’Orsay in Paris
Van Gogh generated a smaller third version, as a gift for his mother and sister a few weeks after making the second version. This was the one of the pieces he chose among his best compositions to be repainted. It is undoubtedly the the most calm and serene version of the lot, where the cool hues overpower the reddish floor and scarlet stained bedsheet.
THE SUR’REAL’ VERSION – 2016 – Chicago
Finally the ingenious brains of Airbnb and the Art Institute of Chicago have reconstructed ‘The most iconic bedroom in art’, the same way Van Gogh would have done it. You can now experience the space and life of Van Gogh in similar hues and tones, even if just for a night. The realistic touch may even awaken the artist within you and appreciate the artist in his true essence!!
Available for only $10 a night, the room, part of a larger apartment in Chicago, is big enough to accommodate two. Bookings have been immediate such that February is already fully booked, and the museum will be releasing dates for March at the end of the month.
Watch this to get a clear understanding of Van Gogh and ‘The Bedroom’.
‘There is a house built out of stone
Wooden floors, walls and window sills.
Tables and chairs worn by all of the dust
This is a place where I don’t feel alone
This is a place where I feel at home’
– The Cinematic Orchestra
After years of being mentally unstable with depression, Van Gogh had even checked himself into an asylum. But his delicate health and emotional state rapidly deteriorated, ultimately leading him to shoot himself in 1890, at the young age of 37.
Courtesy of Goblen Studio
Written by: Ekshikaa