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Friday 22 April 2022 – Van Gogh and Gauguin in Arles

Lecturer: Stephen Duffy

The extraordinary story of the nine weeks that Van Gogh and Gauguin spent together in Arles in southern France in 1888 is one of the most famous in the whole history of art. So many powerful emotions are swept up in it – friendship and rivalry, ambition, jealousy, contempt and admiration – while of course it also led to some of the most celebrated paintings of early modern art. The encounter between these two tempestuous characters, including the episode of Van Gogh cutting off his ear, forms the subject of this lecture which also places the artists’ stay in Arles in the context of their careers and within the wider history of late nineteenth-century painting.