Vincent Van Gogh did not have a chance to return to the UK. He died long before his fame hit the island. Now, people are queuing for the newest exhibition in Tate talking about the relationship between him and Britain.
Yet, to be honest, this relationship is not very obvious…
Do I really care though? No I do not. Not at all. When sit on the bench and admire “Starry night over the Rhone”, my only wish is to be alone, with the painting.
It is a masterpiece. And it’s singly worth the ticket, which is around 22 pounds if you buy at the door. You can also be a member, then it is free to get in. To save a lot and watch a lot for a year, and support the riverside gallery, not a bad deal.
Van Gogh arrived in London in May 1873 at the age of twenty. He worked for two years at the Covent Garden offices of art dealers Goupil and lived in Stockwell and Oval in south London. When he was dismissed from his job, he tried teaching and preaching as careers, in Kent and Isleworth west London.
Like a lot of people living in London then and now, he found it was difficult. In December 1876, he left Britain for good.
Why his works get more and more popular? They looked special from the very beginning but attracted little attention. One explanation may be found from the observation of the audience: more well-dressed happy people were still staying in front of Camille Pissarro, who is said to influence Van Gogh a lot in different ways.
Probably, it is just we have more and more people feeling the same devastation as Van Gogh had in this era.
Visiting the shop is highly recommended afterwards. Without hesitation, I bought the catalogue of the exhibition, a doll of Van Gogh and a keyring. They are priced a bit higher than in Van Gogh Museum Netherlands, but depending on my personal experience, I would say the souvenir will help memory last longer.
THE EY EXHIBITION: VAN GOGH AND BRITAIN
London SW1P 4RG
27 March – 11 August 2019
Advance booking is strongly recommended. See visiting information
Tate Britain is open until 22.00 on the first Friday of each month for Late at Tate Britain
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