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Van Gogh & Britain


Museums & Galleries


4 years +


27/03/2019 - 11/08/2019


Tate Britain

Millbank, SW1P 4RG

Tickets: £22 adults

Ages 12–18: £5

Under 12s free

Van Gogh Sunflowers Tate Van Gogh Self Portrait

Sunflowers Arles, Aug 1888  

Self-Portrait, 1889

This is an exhibition that seeks to make comparisons, looks for influences. The premise of the first half of the show, how the three years that Van Gogh spent in London as a young man influenced his later work, will not resonate much with children. Although he packed loads in - worked for an art dealer in Covent Garden, was sacked, tried teaching and even preaching, lived in various lodgings in South and South West London, visited galleries, enjoyed wandering round the city and loved reading Dickens - he wasn't painting so if you go hoping for back-of-the-envelope sketches of Dickensian London through the eyes of Van Gogh you will be disappointed.

Seeing the impact of his time in London in the masterpieces that follow is too subtle for children (too subtle in most cases for this adult too) but that doesn't detract from their power. There are over fifty works, including some of the most instantly recognisable. Starry Night in Arles (infinitely bluer than the repro here looks), Sunflowers, Self Portrait all justify the hefty entrance price simply to stare at. 

Starry Night on the Rhone Van Gogh

Starry Night, Arles 1888

The second half of the exhibition looks at the impact that Van Gogh had on British artists subsequently. There is no subtlety going on here but children will enjoy looking at the direct comparisons - a room of flowers, William Nicholson's boots, Francis Bacon's studies. 

William Nicholson Van Gogh

Miss Jekyll's Gardening Boots, William Nicholson 1920

Shoes, Van Gogh 1886

The gift shop, unsurprisingly, is packed with tea towels and tote bags. The crochet Vincent (full size or key ring) and a sunflower-dressed Miffy are darling. 

Tate Britain gift shop

Click here to book tickets.

Tickets: £22 adults

Ages 12–18: £5

Under 12s free


Millbank, SW1P 4RG

Venue phone:

020 7887 8888

Venue website:

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