WhatMuseums & Galleries
4 years +
27/03/2019 - 11/08/2019
Millbank, SW1P 4RG
Tickets: £22 adults
Ages 12–18: £5
Under 12s free
Sunflowers Arles, Aug 1888
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, 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.
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.
Click here to book tickets.
Tickets: £22 adults
Ages 12–18: £5
Under 12s free
Millbank, SW1P 4RG
020 7887 8888
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