Le Chic En Rose

Diaries of an independent traveller

I meant to include our outing to Tate Britain to see the Van Gogh exhibition last year in my recent London series (see here, here and here). It ran from March to August 2019 though doesn’t really qualify for the theme “Off The Tourist Trail in London”. Sold out sessions and a strict entry policy at your scheduled time spot only meant it was rather the opposite – packed and crowded!




I last saw Van Gogh paintings in real life at the Musee D’Orsay in Paris when we visited back in 2004 and despite the crowds this exhibition was a real treat. As its name suggests the exhibition focused on Van Gogh’s links to Britain – he worked as a trainee art dealer in London between 1873 and 1876.  Van Gogh’s paintings and story were interspersed with the social history of the time including his interest in the novels of Charles Dickens and George Eliot plus his legacy to British painters who were later inspired by his works.


I have always found it fascinating how, as his depression and melancholy deteriorated, Van Gogh’s paintings grew brighter and more colourful. They are never garish though – the colours, though rich and deep, are still subtle. I had seen the film, “At Eternity’s Gate” earlier in the year, which gives a dramatic representation of the final years of Van Gogh’s life and tragically early death so the exhibition was well-timed. Despite the tortured soul of the artist the paintings are inspiring and draw you in – hopefully a small antidote to the current world concerns and depressing news (photos were allowed inside the exhibition).



Beforehand we had enjoyed a pleasant lunch at the White Swan Pub in Pimlico. The old pub situated on the corner of Vauxhall Bridge Road and Causton Street has been trading as a public house since 1759. It must have seen plenty of interesting characters and patrons through its doors over the years! A couple of minutes walk along the road from the pub takes you to the River Thames. This was the mooring spot where back in the day boats would dock in order to take unfortunate prisoners from Millbank prison to Australia!




The quote on the blackboard in the pub reads, “I feel that there is nothing more truly artistic than to love people” (Vincent Van Gogh).



Copyright Β© 2020 Rosemary Thomas Le Chic En Rose. All rights reserved



10 thoughts on “London Postcript – “Van Gogh and Britain” Exhibition at The Tate

  1. restlessjo says:

    That last isn’t one I know, Rosemay. Loving people isn’t always an easy thing to do πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I hadn’t heard it before either Jo – obviously as the pub is so close to the Tate it was selected to coincide with the exhibition. We learnt a lot about Van Gogh’s life that I didn’t know before – think he was very misunderstood in his lifetime very sad but his paintings have endured πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚

      Liked by 1 person

    2. Hope you’re doing well Jo – I know you’re on a sabbatical but just saying hi! Hope your planned trip to the UK works out it’s a difficult time for people planning trips at present. I’ve just been chatting to our travel agent who has never known anything like it in the 22 years she has worked in the industry. At least she was able to do a booking for us rather than processing all the refunds she has been inundated with recently. We have just booked for Mlle to come back here for her own 3 month sabbatical to get her knee fixed in June – she’s coming on the non stop Qantas flight from London it’s the only one where bookings have increased! No point in us booking anything at present even for later in the year as you’re not covered for insurance at present in the event of cancellation. At least Qantas will let passengers booking between now and 30th June change or cancel flights without incurring fees – let’s hope things will be settling down by then. Take care xx πŸ™‚


      1. restlessjo says:

        I’m trying to tune it all out but as it comes closer you can’t help but be alarmed, Rosemay. The possible repercussions don’t bear thinking about. It’s going to be a difficult year for many and I’m glad I hadn’t set my sights on a travel adventure. We’re heading north to MarvΓ‘o tomorrow for a couple of days and I’m excited to have my wandering legs back on. πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚ Glad you’ll have Mlle safely with you soon. Take care!

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Yes agree Jo – need to be aware but trying not to get too caught up with negative thoughts. The news coverage is at saturation point. I still have lots of past travels to write up so that will keep me busy and vicarious travel may be the way to go for a while. Yes looking forward to having Mlle back here for a while πŸ™‚ Enjoy your break in MarvΓ‘o! πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚

          Liked by 1 person

  2. Lovely. We’ve had a couple of good visits to the Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I would love to go there one day Anabel – when we can all travel freely again! Went to Amsterdam when I was backpacking as a student and didn’t have the funds to go round museums! The Van Gogh exhibition at the Tate was wonderful πŸ™‚


        1. Hopefully not too long!

          Liked by 1 person

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