Van Gogh in London
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.