Friday, June 06, 2008

Van Gogh's Bedroom in Arles

The first time I saw an image of this painting was when I was around 9 or 10 years of age. It was on a card included with the Masterpiece game.

My first impression of it was "If they let this guy be a famous painter, then anybody can become one."

I was not very impressed. Something about it was very child-like and seemed not much more skilled than the average child's crayon drawings hanging on the fridge of most American families.

Since I was a child myself, I expected more from a "great artist". I expected things to look real. I was more likely to be impressed by a painting that looked like a photograph, or where it seemed like you could reach in and pick a piece of fruit right out of the still life and take a bite.

I am still impressed by that kind of art, but I gained a greater appreciation for paintings like Van Gogh's bedroom once I realized what made Van Gogh's paintings great was something that couldn't be seen in the average postcard sized print...the brush strokes.

Van Gogh put more work into those brush strokes than anything else. That man could paint a canvas totally black, void of any other color, and it be a masterpiece...full of emotion...and motion. that I have shared that with you, here is the real reason for my post:

I was searching for somewhere to buy a copy of the painting, as a large poster, for my daughter.

She wants one free of any extra added details, no captions, no borders, no frame...large and reasonably priced. So I was searching for one and was unsuccessful. If you know where to find one, please post a link in the comments.

While I was searching, I did come across a few cool sites & images to share.

The first is Van Gogh 3D, where his bedroom was recreated as a 3D model by Pete Clements, not once but twice, and both are quite impressive.

The first model was created way back in 1993 on an old Acorn A3000, and features the unseen view of the bedroom.

You can read a bit more information at the artist's older site, while the site still exists. It is scheduled to be closed for a revamp soon, and when the site reopens the Van Gogh stuff will not be included. So go take a look while you still can. The extra information is worth reading.

The second model was created in 2003 and is Van Gogh's entire yellow house, and you can go on a virtual tour and explore it. It will require the Viewpoint Media Player browser plugin, as the entire thing was created in Adobe Atmosphere.

If you are a Mac user, you will miss out on this, as there isn't a plugin for Mac available, and since Adobe discontinued development on the Atmosphere project, there likely will never be one. I miss out on this because my old piece of crap PC can't handle it. I'll have to wait till I am on a better machine to explore it.

Now the other website I found is that of a sculptor named Gil Russell, who carved the bedroom scene in wood, adding the figures of Vincent Van Gogh and his painter buddy, Paul Gaugin, just to make it that much more interesting. It all sits atop a wooden box painted to resemble "Starry Night".

So enjoy those links and then take a few minutes to see if you can find that poster my daughter wants. She would really appreciate it.

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