VAN GOGH self-portraits and a re-visit to old friends

Published: 06/04/2022

After its two-year renovation...inspiration at The Courtauld: VAN GOGH self-portraits and a re-visit to old friends!

A visit to the Courtauld has always been thrilling but never more so than now as one winds up the beautiful spiral staircase, stopping at each floor for art from different eras until arriving at the Great Room, once home to the Royal Academy and now awash with visual treats: Cezanne, Manet, Renoir, Degas.

On this floor too, a door leads to further delights....the Van Gogh self-portraits! While some were familiar, the ones loaned from America, the Netherlands and elsewhere were new to me. Looking round the room, the power of the expression and Van Gogh’s eyes tell of suffering. Of course, there is the bandaged ear portrait.

Not to forget living artists, there is a stunning mural by Cecily Brown especially commissioned for the curved wall at the top of this historic staircase. I loved the Oskar Kokoschka room too.

While feasting on these wonders, don’t forget to admire the restoration of the architectural features, ceilings et al which reflect the two year shut down. I see that their new exhibition is on Edvard Munch, pictures coming from Bergen....surely a must but then so is so much else!

Debbi Clifton