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One of Van Gogh’s Sunflowers to Leave US for Major Exhibition at London’s National Gallery

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In a landmark exhibition celebrating the 200th anniversary of the National Gallery in London, art lovers will have the chance to witness a unique reunion of Vincent van Gogh’s famous Sunflowers paintings. For the first time since 1889, when the masterpieces adorned the artist’s studio in Arles, France, the National Gallery’s Sunflowers will be displayed alongside the Philadelphia Museum of Art’s version, offering visitors a rare opportunity to experience Van Gogh’s vision for a decorative arrangement.

The Philadelphia Sunflowers, acquired by the museum in 1963, will travel outside the United States for the first time since its purchase in 1935. This remarkable loan will be the centerpiece of the exhibition titled “Van Gogh: Poets and Lovers,” running from September 14, 2024, to January 19, 2025.

Alongside the iconic Sunflowers paintings, visitors will also have the chance to admire La Berceuse (1889), a symbolic portrait of a woman with a cradle cord, on loan from the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston. Van Gogh envisioned these three works as part of a decorative scheme, inspired by his idea of displaying them together in a boat cabin, evoking a sense of being rocked and reminding viewers of their own lullabies.

The exhibition will not only mark the National Gallery’s bicentennial but also celebrate the centenary of its acquisition of Sunflowers and Van Gogh’s Chair (1888), two of the museum’s most prized possessions, in 1924.

“Van Gogh: Poets and Lovers” will be the first exhibition devoted entirely to the Dutch master at the National Gallery. With over 50 works on display, including loans from prestigious institutions like the Kröller Müller Museum, the Van Gogh Museum, and the Musée d’Orsay, the exhibition will explore Van Gogh’s creative process and the sources of inspiration that fueled his imaginative transformations.

Focusing on the artist’s time in Arles and Saint-Rémy in Provence (1888-1890), the exhibition will delve into Van Gogh’s fascinating practice of turning the places he encountered into idealized spaces in his art, crafting a deeply resonant and poetic framework for his oeuvre.

Dr. Gabriele Finaldi, Director of the National Gallery, expressed his excitement, stating, “This is the first exhibition devoted to Van Gogh ever held at the National Gallery. It marks two centuries of the Gallery’s existence and one since its acquisition of Sunflowers. Museums and collectors have been astoundingly generous in lending great paintings to this show.”

Tickets for the highly anticipated “Van Gogh: Poets and Lovers” exhibition can be booked by National Gallery members starting tomorrow, June 6, while general tickets will go on sale to the public on June 27 through the gallery’s website.

Author: jonathan

Jonathan is a consummate Anglophile who launched Anglotopia.net in 2007 to channel his passion for Britain. Londontopia is its sister publication dedicated to everything London.

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