We miss 'The Bedroom

A couple of months ago a Spanish tourist wrote in the Van Gogh Museum's visitors' book: "We miss 'The Bedroom'". Today the painting is back in one of the rooms of the Van Gogh Museum, but its place on the wall will soon be vacated again: 'The Bedroom' will travel with other works to Japan, where a major Vincent van Gogh exhibition will be held. Restorer Ella Hendriks removed the old layer of varnish from the painting millimetre by millimetre with a cotton swab and the help of a microscope. In her blog, Hendriks reported on the restoration process: among other things, she discovered that several colours were originally different and that many details had been covered by the varnish layer.

The canvas had been badly damaged in previous restorations. In addition, Van Gogh himself had tried, unsuccessfully, to repair some of the problems caused by water at the time. The museum began the recent cleaning and restoration half a year ago.

Looking at this painting should put the mind at ease. Or rather, to the imagination', Vincent wrote to his brother Theo. He went on to describe the colours he used in the painting: pale violet, red, yellow - 'like fresh butter' - and lemon green.

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