Three Francis Bacon paintings inspired by Vincent van Gogh (1853–1890), are included in Tate Britain’s major show dedicated to the Dutch artist: The EY Exhibition: Van Gogh and Britain.
Tate promises that the exhibition will bring together over 50 works by Vincent van Gogh to reveal how the artist was inspired by Britain, and how his art and life inspired British artists. It is in this second part of the show that viewers encounter Francis Bacon’s paintings.
Study for Portrait of Van Gogh IV, Study for Portrait of Van Gogh VI and Van Gogh in a Landscape were all completed in 1957. Bacon’s Van Gogh series was based on a self-portrait by the Dutch artist: Painter on the Road to Tarascon, 1888. A painting sadly known only from photographs since its destruction during the Second World War. On completion by Bacon, both Study for Portrait of Van Gogh VI & VI were delivered still wet to the Hanover Gallery in March 1957 where they were immediately showcased in a solo exhibition. You can read an exhibition history for each artwork via their respective links above.
In the Francis Bacon: Catalogue Rasisonné, 2016, Martin Harrison, FSA writes of Study for Portrait of Van Gogh VI:
‘Bacon described Van Gogh’s figure as ‘more like a phantom of the road’ and in Study for Portrait of Van Gogh VI the figure is the most phantom-like of the series. More shadow than substance, the painter’s progress is about to be thwarted as the roadway in this turbulent landscape breaks up, parting like the red sea.’
For more information on the Tate Britain exhibition, including dates, times, ticketing info, and related events can be found via the exhibition website. Tate events include: members private viewings and tours, a curator’s talk with Carol Jacobi, guided tours, and private viewings for disabled visitors.
In a recent ‘Francis Bacon: Catalogue Raisonné Focus’ we also looked at the history of a late Bacon painting created in homage to Vincent van Gogh, Poster for the 1988 Van Gogh Exhibition in Arles, 1985.
The EY Exhibition: Van Gogh and Britain
27 March – 11 August 2019
Tate Britain, London
The EY Exhibition: Van Gogh and Britain is organised by lead curator Carol Jacobi, Curator of British Art 1850-1915, Tate Britain and Chris Stephens, Director of Holburne Museum, Bath with Van Gogh specialist Martin Bailey and Hattie Spires, Assistant Curator Modern British Art, Tate Britain.
Word reference: Tate website and press release, The Estate of Francis Bacon website, Francis Bacon: Catalogue Raisonné, 2016, Volume II, pages 502–503 & 506–511.
Excerpt: Martin Harrison, FSA. Study for Van Gogh VI, 1957, Francis Bacon: Catalogue Raisonné, 2016, Volume II, page 508.
*Please note accessibility and venue terms and conditions may apply. Tickets are subject to availability. All details including dates, names, featured works, opening days/hours are subject to change. If you're planning a visit, we first recommend checking with Tate for all confirmations regarding this exhibition.