Discover how Van Gogh was inspired by British art, literature and culture throughout his career and how he in turn inspired British artists, from Walter Sickert to Francis Bacon.
Bringing together the largest group of Van Gogh paintings shown in the UK for nearly a decade, Van Gogh and Britain includes over 45 works by the artist from public and private collections around the world. They include Self-Portrait (1889) from the National Gallery of Art, Washington, Starry Night on the Rhône (1888) from the Musée d’Orsay, Paris, and the rarely loaned Sunflowers (1888) from the National Gallery, London.
Van Gogh spent several crucial years in London between 1873 and 1876, writing to his brother Theo, ‘I love London’. Arriving as a young trainee art dealer, he was inspired by the vast modern city to explore new avenues of life, art and love.
The exhibition reveals Van Gogh’s enthusiasm for British culture during his stay and his subsequent artistic career. It shows how he responded to the art he saw, including works by John Constable and John Everett Millais as well as his love of British writers from William Shakespeare to Christina Rossetti.
Charles Dickens in particular influenced Van Gogh’s style and subject matter throughout his career. L'Arlésienne (1890), a portrait he created in the last year of his life in the south of France, features a favourite book by Dickens in the foreground.