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Van Gogh and Britain
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Van Gogh and Britain (Hardback)

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Synopsis

Van Gogh and Britain at Tate Britain will be the first major exhibition both to explore the impact of British culture on Vincent van Gogh and to trace the introduction of his art into Britain and its legacy in the works of British painters. Published to accompany the show, this lavishly illustrated publication illustrates fifty van Gogh paintings, and traces the story from the artist's obscure years in England in the 1870s through his growing influence and reputation to iconic status in the 1950s. These works are accompanied by paintings by British artists that affected him and which he in turn inspired.

The publication looks at van Gogh's time in Britain in his early twenties (1873-6), investigating his experience of the largest city in the world and the ideas, books, paintings and prints which caught his attention. These came to the fore in new ways in the following decade when van Gogh became an artist, and reading and the collecting of prints and illustrations informed both his ideals and his practical investigations of a radical, egalitarian style. After his move to France, van Gogh's earlier preoccupations were woven into his wider experience and his dramatically original late works.

Van Gogh's brief participation in the cosmopolitan art scene in Paris brought him into contact with British-based painters and collectors who were some of the first to respond to his work, but its full impact came in the twentieth century. The publication focuses on the first displays of van Gogh's work before the First World War and the establishment of his reputation following the war, and then on the Second World War and its aftermath, when the artist's life and work became renowned as an embodiment of embattled human creativity. Essays by leadng experts will explore how van Gogh's work became such an inspiration to modern British artists in the twentieth century, from Sickert to Bacon.

Carol Jacobi is Curator British Art, 1850-1915 at Tate Britain

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