Last Updated on February 21, 2022
The Courtauld has reopened with Van Gogh starting the 2022 exhibition programme
The Courtauld is an internationally-renowned centre for the teaching and research of art history and a major public gallery. Founded by collectors and philanthropists in 1932, The Courtauld cares for one of the greatest art collections in the UK, presenting these works to the public at The Courtauld Gallery in central London, as well as through loans and partnerships.
Although most famous for its iconic Impressionist and Post-Impressionist masterpieces including Van Gogh’s Self-Portrait with Bandaged Ear and Manet’s A Bar at the Folies-Bergère, the permanent collection also includes works from the Middle Ages, the Renaissance and the present day.
In late 2018, the gallery closed for refurbishment and reopened in November 2021. The development is the most significant in the history of The Courtauld, since it moved to the North Wing of Somerset House in 1989, supported by £11 million from The National Lottery Heritage Fund and generous donations from foundations, individuals and other supporters. Designed by Stirling Prize-winning architects Witherford Watson Mann, the Gallery redevelopment revitalises and opens up the magnificent buildings conceived by Sir William Chambers in the 1770s, celebrating their fascinating heritage.
The Blavatnik Fine Rooms were restored and supported by a £10 million donation from philanthropists Sir Leonard and Lady Blavatnik and the Blavatnik Family Foundation. It spans a suite of six galleries occupying the entire second floor of the building. There is now a room dedicated to the Italian Renaissance, Northern Renaissance, 17th and 18th Century Europe. There is also a room dedicated to a collection of works by Peter Paul Rubens. A case with various 18th-century silvers made by the Courtauld family of silversmiths are also on display.
A new gallery has also been created on the first floor to present The Courtauld’s important collection of paintings and decorative arts from the Medieval and Early Renaissance periods, including fine examples of Islamic metalwork, alongside works from Italy and Northern Europe. Most of the paintings are small as they were originally made for private devotion. However, they draw the viewer in, encouraging a personal relationship with their subject matter.
The Courtauld’s significant collection of works by the Bloomsbury Group is also given a dedicated space in the Gallery. The Bloomsbury Group’s members were some of the most radical artists, writers and intellectuals of the early 20th century, including Vanessa Bell and Duncan Grant, and radical designs for furniture, ceramics and textiles are shown alongside paintings and drawings.
The highlight of the gallery, showcasing the UK’s greatest collection of Impressionist art are the masterpieces are displayed in the spectacularly restored LVMH Great Room – London’s oldest purpose-built exhibition space. Previously subdivided, the newly renamed LVMH Great Room has been reinstated to its original breath-taking proportions and volume and includes works by Manet, Monet, Renoir, Degas, Seurat, Van Gogh, Gauguin and Modigliani. A fun fact about the Great Room is that it was used for the very first Royal Academy Annual Summer Exhibition.
3 February–8 May 2022
Housed in the new Denise Coates Exhibition Galleries, an outstanding group of 16 self-portraits trace the evolution of Van Gogh’s self-representation, from the early Self-Portrait with a Dark Felt Hat, created in 1886 during a formative time in Paris that saw the radical transformation in Van Gogh’s style, to Self-Portrait with a Palette, painted at the asylum in Saint-Rémy-de-Provence in September 1889, one of the last self-portraits created before his death in 1890. This is the first time the full span of Van Gogh’s self-portraiture has been explored in an exhibition, and it is the largest group to be brought together in more than 25 years. The collection of portraits gives the viewer an intimate look into Van Gogh’s life and how he portrays himself via painting.
Kurdistan in the 1940’s
19 November- 30 May 2022
Housed in Project Space at the Courtauld gallery, 21 compelling photographs taken by Kersting in 1944 and 1946 which document the life of the Yazidi community in Kurdistan are displayed. The exhibition also includes portraits and city photography of Erbil, often considered the oldest continually inhabited place on earth, and the Mosque at Nebi Yunus, the burial place of Jonah destroyed by Isis in 2014.
The Morgan Stanley Exhibition: Edvard Munch Masterpieces from Bergen
27 May–5 September 2022 (tickets on sale Spring 2022)
Fuseli and the Modern Woman: Fashion,Fantasy, Fetishism
13 October 2022–8 January 2023
The Art of Experiment: Parmigianino at The Courtauld
5 March-5 June 2022
Traces: Renaissance Drawings for Flemish Prints
18 June–Autumn 2022
13 October 2022–January 2023
The Courtauld Gallery
Somerset House, Strand
London WC2R 0RN
Opening Hours: 10am–6pm (last entry 5.15pm)
Weekend tickets from £20, Friends and Under-18s go free
Looking for a different way to see Van Gogh – Check out our review of the Immersive Van Gogh exhibition in The City