We normally expect lengthy queues with blockbuster exhibitions at the Tate or unique experiences such as the Rain Room, but it's rare to expect the same from commercial galleries. The demand for the latest exhibition at Eykyn Maclean is so high that a ticketing system has been implemented — though it is free to book.
Why the demand? Rare paintings, including some notable Van Gogh's, have been sourced from museums and private collections across the world. It's a chance to see important works that might never be on public show again.
This exhibition looks at the two years Van Gogh spent in Paris and how the artists he met there influenced his style. Van Gogh is most famously known for his looser more expressive brush strokes but in this earlier period we spot a much tighter style in his arresting self-portrait, and a rather subdued view from his brother's apartment window.
But we also have paintings by Monet, Pissarro, Toulouse-Lautrec and Gauguin, and the show demonstrates how these painters would have affected Van Gogh's developing style. In fact, one of Van Gogh's works titled 'The Roofs of Paris' feels more like a work by Seurat or Pissarro.
There are also some lesser known yet accomplished Impressionist painters on display and the vivid nature of a work by Charles Angrand makes it feel like it could have been painted last week
This is a rare opportunity to see some incredible paintings and to see the evolution of Van Gogh's style during his time in Paris.
Van Gogh in Paris is at Eykyn Maclean, 30 St George Street, W1S 2FH until 29 November 2013. Gallery admission is free and booking is essential due to anticipated demand.