While working on this painting, the artist Vincent van Gogh wrote about its colours to his brother Theo: “…The pale, lilac walls, the uneven, faded red of the floor, the chrome-yellow chairs and bed, the pillows and sheet in very pale lime green, the blood-red blanket, the orange-coloured wash stand, the blue wash basin, and the green window…” He added, “I wanted to express absolute repose with these different colours”.
From this letter, we know how Van Gogh himself must have felt when in this room, or at least the mood he wanted his painting to evoke: “absolute repose”, or restfulness.
Talk About the Paintings Below
Why might an artist want to paint the interior of a room?
Imagine yourself in each of these rooms, sitting or standing there for a while.
How do you begin to feel in this space? How did the artist manage to create this feeling?
What lines, tones, colours, textures help to create
Notice the way the artist has portrayed the space in the room.
Is this space vast, cramped, claustrophobic, comfortable? How has the artist created this spatial feeling?