Art History

Van Gogh's "The Bedroom" Paintings Originally Had Purple Walls

Vincent van Gogh's 1888 painting "Bedroom in Arles" is one of the artist's most recognized works, and one of the most well-known pieces of art in the world. Certain features of the painting are just as iconic as the painting itself, including its blue walls and seafoam green floors. However, these were not the work's original colors. In an 1888 letter to his brother Theo, Vincent described his room as having walls of "pale violet" and a floor of "red tiles." The pale violet walls, today, look to be blue, and the originally red floor looks more like green and brown. Researchers at the Art Institute of Chicago unearthed these findings while combing through letters from the artist and, according to Public Radio International, by analyzing the painting using a "gun-like instrument that emits x-rays."

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Written by Curiosity Staff June 14, 2016