Sweet Dreams: The Bed in Art

The bed, not only a place for slumber, intimacy, and relaxation has also served as an artistic muse for centuries. From 19th century paintings of languorous women, to contemporary performance art the bed and the acts that happen within it have been explored by numerous artists. The bed itself provides a plethora of inspiration; aesthetically it is a beautiful place with billowy, soft sheets which cascade to the ground in dramatic folds and pleats. Conceptually it is a place of physical and psychological experiences both traumatic and sublime. The bed indeed is a personal place and is one of the most significant pieces of furniture in one’s home; here is a roundup of the bed throughout art history. Sweet dreams…

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Nadja Haefeli, Germanic Funeral 2, 2007, oil on canvas

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Cornelia Parker and Tilda Swinton, The Maybe, 1995. Installation at the Serpentine Gallery, London

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Janine Antoni, Slumber, 1994, performance: loom, yarn, bed, nightgown, EEG machine and artist’s REM readings.

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Andrew Wyeth, Master Bedroom, 1965, watercolor

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Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec, The Bed, 1893, oil on cardboard

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Frederic Leighton, Flaming June, 1895oil on canvas

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Edward Burne-Jones, The Rose Bower from Legend of Briar Rose Series, 1885 – 1890, oil on canvas

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Julia Leigh, Sleeping Beauty, 2011, film

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Henry Fuseli, The Nightmare, oil on canvas, 1781

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Gustave Klimt, Danae, oil on canvas, 1907-1908

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Yayoi Kusama, Bed-Dots Obsession, 2002

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John Ransom Phillips, My Conception from the series Bed as Autobiography, 2001, oil on canvas

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Paul Schenggenburger, from the series The Sleep of the Beloved2013

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Guillermo Kuitca, Untitled, 1992, 20 wooden beds, 20 cotton mattresses, buttons, acrylic paint and marker pen

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Urs Fischer, Untitled (Soft Bed) (2011)Image

Tracey Emin, My Bed, 1998, Mattress, linens, pillows, objects

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3 comments on “Sweet Dreams: The Bed in Art

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