The Van Gogh Museum has announced that after six months of labor, Van Gogh’s 1888 masterpiece, The Bedroom, has been restored. “It looks much fresher and brighter now,” Van Gogh Museum curator Leo Jansen told the Associated Press. “It’s more … as van Gogh intended it to be. It’s more peaceful.” The conservator in charge of the operation, Ella Hendriks, said that much of her work involved undoing previous restoration efforts that had added paint in some sections. Hendriks also removed a yellowing varnish that was applied to the canvas around 1930, which had apparently been dulling the glow of the artist’s characteristically effervescent colors.
According to ArtInfo, “some of the problems with the canvas date back to van Gogh’s time. Returning to his Arles studio after a stay in a hospital in 1889, van Gogh discovered that the canvas had suffered some moisture damage. He covered the oil painting in newspaper — a practice that is not generally encouraged by contemporary conservators — and later sent it to Theo, who worked for an art dealer in Paris. Hendriks told the wire service that some of the fragments of the newspaper were still visible on the canvas, when viewed through a microscope. (It’s tempting to imagine — but unlikely — that this episode inspired Picasso to add newsprint to some of his Cubist works.)”
You can learn more about the restoration of The Bedroom on the Van Gogh Museum’s special blog dedicated to chronicling the journey here.
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