Vincent van Gogh moved to London in May 1873 at the age of 20 and lived intermittently in the city until 1876. During this time he is known to have visited, and written about, several of the Royal Academy of Arts’ Summer Exhibitions, Christie’s and iconic sites including St Paul’s Cathedral and Hampton Court. He also worked as a teacher in schools in Isleworth and Turnham Green and delivered his first sermon at a Wesleyan Methodist Church in Richmond Church.
19 May 1873 – Van Gogh starts working at Goupil’s, an art dealership in London, for its manager Charles Obach. Lodges in the suburbs (address unknown)
Late August 1873 – Van Gogh moves to new lodgings at the house of Ursula Loyer, a widow, and her daughter Eugenie. They run a small school at their home in Brixton. He made a sketch of No 87 (above) as a present for Eugenie. You can see the original sketch in Amsterdam’s Van Gogh Museum.
In a letter to his brother, Theo, dated London, Saturday, 13 September 1873, he wrote:
“I now have a room, as I’ve long been wishing, without sloping beams and without blue wallpaper with a green border. It’s a very diverting household where I am now, in which they run a school for little boys.”
25 December 1873 – Van Gogh spends Christmas with the Loyers family
At the beginning of January 1874, he wrote to Theo:
“Things are going well for me here, I have a wonderful home and it’s a great pleasure for me to observe London and the English way of life and the English themselves, and I also have nature and art and poetry, and if that isn’t enough, what is?”
Early August 1874 – Declares his love for Eugenie and faces rejection
395 Kennington New Road, Kennington
3 July 1876 – Van Gogh moves to the school of the Revd. Thomas Slade–Jones at Holme Court, 158 Twickenham Road, Isleworth