Two visits to the Art Institute two weeks apart enabled me to discover a secret passage leading to a mystery. The secret passage is the one connecting the second floor of the new Modern Wing to the Impressionist galleries on the upper floor of the old building– enter through the back of the Caffe Moderno (after stopping to eat a bacon scone) — it will save you ten minutes walk and a climb up the big staircase.
On the first of my recent visits I happily entered the Gallery with the Yellow and Green Van Gogh In It, eager to see one of my very very favorite pictures in the world, only to find that only four days before, it had disappeared under mysterious circumstances. Well, maybe not so mysterious. Mysteries do not usually leave a tidy little notice on a preprinted and numbered form tacked to the wall behind them.
Then I went back last week, and notice #2173 was gone, and this was in its place. I’ve seen this painting, which I have loved since I was a kid, approximately a jillion times, but it never fails to show me something new or at least make me happy by being mild and utterly quotidian and passionate and profound and full of color. I don’t think I’d ever been to the Art Institute before and not seen it. There are several versions of “The Bedroom”, sometimes called “The Bedroom in Arles”, but this is the best one because of the color of the floor and the window frame and the way the table is sitting.
(image of the picture as it was hanging in the gallery last Thursday, Pentax K-30, Pentax DA*55mm f/1.4. Exposure data for photography nerds: 1/160, f/2.8, ISO 1250.)