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 one square or rectangle in the painting, you notice another one close by, which leads your eye around the room back to where you started. Van Gogh's use of form once again creates the depth needed for the painting. There is not much else it seems that I can say about this.
He used perspective to create form and it worked well. When Van Gogh painted this bedroom, I honestly believe that he did not have much to work with regarding space. This is a small room and he painted exactly what he saw. The closeness of the furniture signifies that. The balance in the painting is achieved through the use of color. As I mentioned before, the contrast of the blue wall against the colors of the floor and furniture contribute to this.
This provides a balance of the colors and the objects respectively. I believe that the true emphasis of the painting is focused on the depth. You truly get a sense that you can walk right into this painting and either lay down in the bed or sit at the table. As I mentioned, the use of colors helps this immensely. Form also plays a strong part.
The contrast in this painting is again provided by the color. The walls, floor and furniture all reflect different hues. The white wall also helps break it up. Form again plays a part here because of the sizes of the furniture and the shapes used. The huge footboard contrasts greatly with that of the pictures on the wall. Van Gogh could have made those pictures but he didn't.
Van Gogh's use of line provides movement in this picture. The strong stroke of the underside of the bed frame pulls your eye to the center of the painting. The overall perspective of the room does that as well. The use of color also works here. The colors of the furniture move your eye the chair in the background. The rhythm and pattern of this painting is evident with the use of the furniture.
It pulls you directly to the center of the painting. Even the pictures on the white wall pull you towards the center, with the slight distinction of them pulling away from the wall. A great sense of unity is achieved here. While he painted what he saw, I am positive that the table and chairs were not placed like this originally. With the flow of the furniture from the lower left corner to the lower right corner, unity is achieved. With the flow of the fabric hanging on the left side to the pictures on the white wall, unity is achieved again.
After I wrote my notes for this paper, I realized that I really like this painting. Originally, I thought it was boring and lacked the character to be the subject of a painting. However, after reviewing it, I can see why Van Gogh painted it. It is a perfect example of the components mentioned in this essay.