Rarely, since the time that they were created, has a large collection of Van Gogh’s original letters and his corresponding works been seen together. But in January of 2010, the main galleries of Burlington House, the Royal Academy of Arts will be host to an exhibition of over 35 original Van Gogh letters and about 65 paintings and 30 drawings relating to the letters on display. As the first major Van Gogh exhibition in London in over forty years, The Real Van Gogh: The Artist and His Letters, will be a monumental event for Van Gogh admirers.
Van Gogh is widely known for his prolific and extraordinary work as an artist, but his expression in the written word is also impressive. When analyzing different works of art, art historians and appreciators try to uncover meaning in the work itself, but it is rare that the intent, motivation and perception can be drawn directly from the words of the artist himself especially posthumously. Such an accurate record of one man’s work, life and time in history is hard to find, and we are privileged to have this account preserved for the public to view today.
This exhibition will not only show some of the finished paintings and drawings referred to in Van Gogh’s correspondence to his greatest confidants, visitors will also see the letter sketches of works in progress to get a more complete picture of the man behind the brush and the pen and his development both as an artist and a person.
According to the Royal Academy of Arts, “Highlights of the exhibition will include Self-portrait as an Artist (1888) and The Yellow House (1888) from the Van Gogh Museum, Amsterdam; Still-life: Drawing Board with Onions (1889) from the Kröller-Müller Museum, Otterlo; Vincent’s Chair with His Pipe (1888) from the National Gallery, London; and Entrance to the Public Park in Arles (1888) from the Phillips Collection, Washington DC.”
The Real Van Gogh: The Artist and His Letters Exhibition is curated by Ann Dumas of the Royal Academy of Arts, London, in collaboration with Leo Jansen, Hans Luijten and Nienke Bakker of the Van Gogh Museum, Amsterdam. The exhibit is sponsored by the Bank of New York Mellon.
For tickets and information about The Real Van Gogh: The Artist and His Letters please visit the Royal Academy of Arts.
In cooperation with the Royal Academy of Arts, the Van Gogh Gallery will be having a contest to win tickets to this exhibition. Please continue to check the Van Gogh Gallery website for more details over the next few weeks.