Van Gogh in Lon­don

The Week Middle East - - Arts | Art -

Think of Van Gogh, and the sun­flow­ers and skies of the south of France prob­a­bly come to mind, says Anita Singh in The Sun­day Tele­graph. But an ex­hi­bi­tion open­ing at Tate Bri­tain next year “will fo­cus on the artist’s years in a some­what greyer en­vi­ron­ment”: Lon­don. Van Gogh and Bri­tain will sug­gest that the three years he spent in this coun­try “changed his vi­sion of the world and him­self”. In 1873, when he was 20, Van Gogh moved to Lon­don to work as a trainee art dealer, lodg­ing at 87 Hack­ford Road in Stock­well. His let­ters to his brother Theo bear wit­ness to the great plea­sure he took in his time there: he wrote of his walks by the Thames, the “grey rainy sky” above Hyde Park, and his ad­mi­ra­tion for John Con­sta­ble and John Everett Mil­lais. The ex­hi­bi­tion’s cu­ra­tors ar­gue that Charles Dick­ens’s nov­els, in par­tic­u­lar, had a de­ci­sive in­flu­ence. Dick­ens gave Van Gogh a “sym­pa­thy for the down­trod­den”, a “moral vi­sion”, says Alex Farquharson, di­rec­tor of Tate Bri­tain.

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