Major Van Gogh show set to open in London

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The Independent Online

An exhibition bringing together Vincent Van Gogh's paintings and letters opens in London next weekend, the first major show about the artist here in over 40 years.

"The Real Van Gogh: The Artist And His Letters" at the Royal Academy includes the last letter Van Gogh wrote to his brother Theo, six days before he committed suicide in 1890.

The correspondence sheds a revealing light on the Dutch artist, best known for tempestuous brushwork, sometimes odd angles and colours and having cut off his own ear.

"There is a myth about Van Gogh. People concentrate on the dramatic aspect of his life and that tended to overshadow who he really was," curator Anne Dumas told AFP.

"The popular view is that he is crazy and used to paint very quickly. He did paint very quickly but what comes out of the letters is how he carefully made preparations for his works," she added.

Most of the letters and 12 of the paintings are on loan from the Van Gogh museum in Amsterdam and are presented alongside works from galleries and private collections around the world.

The exhibition opens on January 23 and runs until April 18 at the Royal Academy.

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