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New Study Finds Link Between Van Gogh's Choice of Colors and His Mental Health

February 24, 2016

Source: Artnet News

 

A new study claims to have found a correlation between the darkening ofVincent van Gogh's color palette in his artwork and his declining mental health.

 

The study—which is based on Van Gogh's three versions of The Bedroom, painted between 1888 and 1889—was commissioned by the Art Institute of Chicago to coincide with its current exhibition focusing on the three depictions of the artist's bedroom in his house in Arles, southern France.

 

Pigment fading over the last 128 years has significantly lightened the works to the point where they appear similar in color, although they looked quite distinct when they were freshly painted.

 

Over the years natural chemical reactions in the paint and pigment changed the tone and luminescence of the paintings. “They're light sensitive so it makes sense that the fading would progress from the outward in," Francesca Casadio, an art conservation scientist at the at the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) told the Guardian.