The colours we see in his paintings are not as he intended.
Art lovers revel in the rich hues present in van Gogh’s work, but the colours we see are not, in fact, what the artist meant for us to see — specifically the yellow tones. Like many artists of the time, van Gogh used an unstable pigment called chrome yellow that was prone to fading or browning over time. The chemical change is irreversible, so we can only imagine the luminosity the paintings once held.
As for van Gogh’s common usage of the colour yellow, biographer Charles Moffatt believes it reflects points of time when van Gogh was on a bi-polar upswing.
11 things you don’t know about Vincent Van Gogh…