Van Gogh's Painting Bedroom At Arles

1034 words - 4 pages

When I first looked at this painting, I thought to myself, "It's boring. It's boring to look at. Why paint a picture of an empty bedroom?" However, once I started looking at all the elements, my mind changed.
     Van Gogh's use of line really gives depth and character to the piece. The first line that caught my eye was the line outlining the bottom of the bed. The strong stroke really gives you a sense of distance between the bottom of the frame and the floor. Had it been a thin line like those to depict the floorboards, it would look like the bed was sitting directly on the floor. His use of brush strokes and the thickness of them vary immensely in the painting to create depth. The strong strokes of the chair in the lower left hand corner really gives you a sense that the chair is in the foreground as opposed to the chair next to the head of the bed. That chair, painted with thinner lines tells you the chair is further back.
     The use of color originally struck me as bland. The use of reds and oranges overwhelmed me to the point where I was trying to focus on other colors in the painting. I think that is a point of the painting. I think Van Gogh wanted the viewer to look around. I also think that Van Gogh wanted to use these particular colors to create depth. The use of reds and oranges dominate the foreground with the frame of the bed, the bed sheet and the chair in the lower left corner. The use of blue on the walls pulls everything in and creates the depth. Had the wall been green, brown, red or black, there would not be a great depth. In regards to depth, the use of lines in the floorboards creates depth, drawing your eye to and from the back of the room.
     Color values are strong in this painting. It goes back to what I said about color, but I believe the soft hue of the blue walls against the strong hue of the bed frame and floor provides enough contrast to pull you into the painting. I also like the strong hue of the table. It connects the visual of looking at the chairs and the bed. When you look at the table, your eye cannot help but look at the other furniture.
     When I look at the texture of the painting, I do get a true sense of a wood floor, a wooden bed frame and a piece of fabric hanging from a nail. I think he might have used different techniques for creating various textures in the room. I think the floorboards are of multiple layers of paint, as to create the tones of the wood. I think that the bed frame, however, is just a single layer of paint, almost thin in nature. The texture of the glass in the window gives you a sense that there is an actual surface to the glass. His use of texture gives me a sense that I can walk right into this room.
     Obviously, lots of squares and rectangles are used in this painting. It helps the flow of the painting. When you notice...

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