Van Gogh and Britain exhibition

From the announcement in the Winter Newsletter:

Tate Britain’s Van Gogh and Britain exhibition will present the largest collection of Van Gogh’s paintings in the UK for nearly a decade. Some of his most famous works will be brought together from around the world – including Shoes, Starry Night on the Rhône, L’Arlésienne, and two works he made while a patient at Saint-Paul Asylum, At Eternity’s Gate and Prisoners Exercising. These will be joined by the very rarely lent Sunflowers from London’s National Gallery.

Van Gogh lived in England as a young man for several crucial years. After completing his training in 1873 at the art dealers Goupil & Cie in The Hague, Van Gogh, at the age of 20, was transferred to the London branch at Southampton Street. He took lodgings in Stockwell and was happy for a while. He sketched but not so much as he read and walked the streets alone, dreaming of the future. He fell “in love with London” as he wrote in a letter to his brother Theo.

Van Gogh also visited many art galleries, like the Royal Academy and Dulwich Picture Gallery, and was inspired by the art he saw there, including paintings by Constable and Millais, which also will be featured in this exhibition. In addition, his favourite place to observe London was the once fashionable Rotten Row in Hyde Park, where Victorians went to be seen in fine clothes and on horseback. (See also book by Groenhart and Verlinden ‘Hoe ik van Londen houd: wandelen door het Londen van Vincent van Gogh’, 2013).

In 1875 he was transferred to the Paris branch, but became resentful of issues such as the degree to which the firm ‘commodified’ art and was dismissed a year later. In April of 1876 he returned to England to take unpaid work as supply teacher in a small boarding school in Ramsgate, but at the end of that same year he moved back to the Netherlands. Still those three years in England had a great influence on his early works.

This exhibition will also look at the British artists who were inspired by Van Gogh, including Francis Bacon, David Bomberg, and the young Camden Town painters. It will show how his vision set British artists on the road to modern art. Please join us for an exhibition lecture by a Tate Lecturer and self-guided visit to learn more about this unique exhibition.


From the report in the Summer Newsletter :