15 MAR 2019: Tate Britain will host the largest exhibition of Vincent van Gogh’s work in the UK for nearly a decade. “The EY Exhibition: Van Gogh and Britain” will also be the first at the London venue, which is one of the largest art museums in the country and dubbed “the home of British art from 1500 to the present day.”  

The exhibit, which debuts March 27 and runs through Aug. 11, will bring together 40 of the Dutch master’s most prized works while examining the culture, art and literature that provided inspiration when he lived in London in his early 20s – a crucial period in his development as an artist.

Featured in the exhibition will be some of the artist’s most famous works, including “Shoes,” “Starry Night on the Rhône,” “L'Arlésienne,” and two works he made while a patient at the Saint-Paul Asylum: “At Eternity’s Gate” and “Prisoners Exercising.” They will be joined by the very rarely lent “Sunflowers” from London’s National Gallery.

The exhibition also looks at British artists who both inspired Van Gogh (Constable and Millais) and were inspired by him, including Francis Bacon, David Bomberg and the young Camden Town painters, thereby setting British artists on the road to modern art.

Two other noteworthy exhibits are also taking place at the Tate this year:

• Life through a lens: Continuing through May 6, Tate Britain explores the life of renowned photojournalist Don McCullin through images that document his extraordinary career. From harrowing stills of the battlefields of Vietnam and the Troubles in Ireland to images of life in London’s East End and scenes of urban strife, more than 250 photographs provide a complex retrospective of an icon in British photography.

• An artist at work: September welcomes the most comprehensive survey of William Blake for more than 15 years at the gallery (Sept. 11-Feb. 2, 2020), featuring 600 works across an array of different mediums. Visitors will discover how the British artist has influenced other artists, writers, musicians and many more people besides over a period of more than 250 years, while working in a time of war, revolution and oppression.

Ongoing highlights at the Tate include the world’s largest collection of trailblazing artist J. M. W. Turner, sometimes referred to as “the father of modern art,” and two rooms dedicated to renowned sculpture Henry Moore. There is also a constantly changing series of spotlight exhibits featuring specific artists or themes.

Originally known as the National Gallery of British Art from its founding in 1897 to 1932 and then the Tate Gallery (1932-2000), the museum, located on the banks of the Thames on Millbank (closest tube station: Pimlico), is the oldest gallery in the Tate network of art museums in Britain, which also includes Tate Modern (London), Tate Liverpool and Tate St. Ives (Cornwall). Admission is free.

Photo captions/credits

All Vincent van Gogh l to r.
Self-portrait, 1887 Paris, Musée d'Orsay,
Sunflowers, 1888 The National Gallery, London/ Bought, Courtauld Fund, 1924
At Eternity’s Gate, 1890 Collection Kröller-Müller Museum, Otterlo

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Michael Baginski

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