Wednesday, 17 April 2013

Follow Vincent's walk to work 19th May

Van Gogh 'A pair of Shoes' 1886,
Van Gogh Museum, Amsterdam
May is National Walking Month, and also the start of the Chelsea Fringe celebration of flowers and gardens across London. We can't think of a better time to arrange a guided walk following the path Vincent might have taken on his walk to work. 

Taking in many of the sights and sounds that Vincent would have in 1873, the walk will be an easy paced 3.5 miles from Stockwell to Covent Garden. Vincent says in his letters that it's a good three-quarters of an hour walk, but we should allow a couple of hours with chatting and exploring.

The walk will be accompanied by Kristine Groenhart, Dutch author and expert on Van Gogh's time in London.

There's also the possibility of a detour towards the end for those who want to pop into the National Gallery to see several original Van Gogh works (although his famous 'Sunflowers' painting is currently on loan to the Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam).

Sunday 19th May, meet at 2pm outside 87 Hackford Road, London SW9 0RE. Van Gogh lived as a lodger here in 1873.

If you can't make this date or would rather do the walk in your own time, you can download details of the walk here. This is part of the Secret Lambeth series - contact for more info.

"I walk here as much as I can, but I’m very busy. It’s absolutely beautiful here (even though it’s in the city). There are lilacs and hawthorns and laburnums &c. blossoming in all the gardens, and the chestnut trees are magnificent. 

If one truly loves nature one finds beauty everywhere. Yet I sometimes yearn so much for Holland, and especially Helvoirt. 
I’m doing a lot of gardening and have sown sweet peas, poppies and reseda, now we just have to wait and see what comes of it. 

I enjoy the walk from home to the office and in the evening from the office back home. It takes about three-quarters of an hour.
The apple trees &c. have blossomed beautifully here; it seems to me that everything is earlier here than in Holland."

Vincent van Gogh April 1874