Van Gogh exhibition – more amazing than I expected

Yesterday I went to the Van Gogh exhibition that is showing at the Royal Academy of Art in London. Thankfully, with my press pass I didn’t have to queue, which was lucky because it was an hour long. Last weekend when my housemate went she waited for two hours in the rain!

No matter how long you have to wait, I do think it’s worth it. There are seven rooms that show Van Gogh’s art over his ten year career. Gogh only started painting at 27 (there’s hope for us yet!) and worked until he tragically took his life ten years later. He shot himself in a field and died with his brother at his bedside two days afterward.

The brilliant element to the exhibition is not the paintings or the art, it’s the fact that they have collected all the letters Gogh wrote to his brother and sister during his life. These letters detail his thoughts and reasons behind his art. They also include many sketches and you can see his art work come to life every step of the way.

Gogh’s brother helped to finance his work and it seems as though Gogh repaid him by giving him art pieces and showing him through his letters how much work he was doing. Gogh certainly suffered from insecurities but what I realised was that he was not half as crazy as I thought he was. Obviously he had mental breakdowns, like when he chopped off his ear, but he also had a lot of lucid and very sane moments as well.

I also wasn’t aware that Gogh drew so much. Not only was he a painter, but he could really draw and I felt that his sketches gave off a very different feel from his paintings.

It really was a worthwhile exhibition and it’s well laid out in chronological order so you can see his improvements over the years. If you’re in London and have a bit of free time (it takes roughly two hours to see) I would really recommend you take a look!


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