Van Gogh painted three versions of The bedroom. He often made copies of his own works when he was satisfied with them. He usually planned to sell the new version or give it away.
In late 1888, Van Gogh was admitted to the hospital because he had injured his ear after an argument with Gauguin. By early 1889 he was back in the ‘Yellow House’ and wrote to Theo, ‘When I saw my canvases again after my illness, what seemed to me the best was the bedroom.’
When a nearby river flooded, water seeped into Van Gogh’s studio and damaged the painting. Van Gogh sent it to Theo, asking if he could line it with a new canvas. Theo sent it back to Vincent so that he could make a copy first. Vincent did so, in the Saint-Rémy asylum in September 1889. That same month, he made a smaller copy for his mother and his sister Wil.