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Van Gogh Bedrooms and Feng Shui

The placement of the bed is one of the most important factors in someone’s life. Because we spend about one third of our lives sleeping, the bedroom exerts a big influence in our everyday life.

I had the pleasure of seeing Van Gogh’s Bedrooms exhibit at the Art Institute of Chicago. According to the Museum, the exhibit drew more than 430,000 visitors. The museum had the highest daily attendance of any special exhibition for the last 15 years. We are so fortunate to have a gem close by.

I was excited to go see this wonderful exhibit and examine it through Feng Shui eyes.

Van Gogh’s paintings included much of his autobiography. Besides his original paintings, the museum also included letters he wrote to his brother Theo, whom he had the closest relationship with. These letters are a record of his life. It is through these letters that we learned about the artist feelings and desires.

The exhibit included a full size mock up of his room in the famous “yellow house”. The yellow house, is a pivotal point in the life of Van Gogh’s. This house is the birth place for his very famous Bedroom painting series.

He shared this home with another famous impressionist painter named Paul Gauguin.

Within a year, he painted 3 different versions of The Bedroom. The difference between the pantings were on the details, the most visible ones being the pictures above the bed.

The first image above is The Bedroom painting #2. Now housed at the Art Institute of Chicago.

Van Gogh decided to paint his best work

as a gift to others. The image to the right is The Bedroom painting #3.

It is a gift for his mother and sister.

Knowing that the techniques of this painting was

different than what was popular at the time,

he wrote them a letter to explain the style.

It was inspired by Japanese block paintings.

From the choice of colors, you can see that

there is more warmth to this image.

This black and white is a picture of his bedroom in the asylum where he spent the last years of his life.

After viewing his Bedroom paintings and the picture above, can you see the similarities?

The characteristics are:

  • He did not have clear view of who was coming in through the door. He did not feel protected.

  • He appears to have low ceilings. He was unable to grow.

  • He has slopping ceilings over his bed, energy or CHI is constricted. He did not feel confident.

  • His bed is against the wall, as if he is corralled into the wall, CHI is restricted. He did not feel free.

  • He has pictures of himself and random people over his bed “watching him”.

I believe that the architectural features of the room in addition to the bed placement may have aggravated his already existing condition and flawed tendencies. It brought the worse in him.

It is stated that he never felt comfortable and he was always searching for stability and a place to call home.

Proper bed placement can make a huge difference in the way we think, act and behave. Quality of sleep influences our ability to perform, succeed and relate to others.

What is the proper bed placement? See this short video below:

Here are some links to other bed placement suggestions:

The Basics of Bed Placement 1, do’s and don’ts

The Basics of Bed Placement 3, a real life example

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