The following is from a great article which is in the Parish News this month...
An artisitic secret may be lying tucked behind Wickham Market's High Street, at the current site of the Newsagent's and former Pharmacy.
Within foundations of the White Hart coaching inn ancient letters may be holding an artistic secret. The White Hart was originally a 15th century Posting Inn which had the addition of an 18th century facade.
In its heyday the White Hart would have received many visitors from London. However these historic patrons of the White Hart have now journeyed on, and into the ashes of history. Remarkably, contemporary carbon dating together with data-logging techniques identify the source of historic documents from mere fragments of manuscripts. It appears that tucked away, within the foundations of the former White Hart Inn, may lay fragments of writings from a famous Dutch artist.
During 1873 Vincent Van Gogh worked in London, for the art dealers 'Goupil & Cie,' initially he was very unhappy about having to leave The Hague in South Holland. To console himself Van Gogh shared his feelings and wrote many detailed letters to his brother, Theo. Over time, Van Gogh began to enjoy the diversity of the English countryside and began to incorporate small sketches of places he visited, in his letters to Theo.
An art historian from The Hague believes it is now possible to trace Van Gogh's artistic interests journeys through these letters, i.e. the location of the rural settings. He believes that he will soon be able to identify exactly where Van Gogh stayed in East Suffolk.
He suggests that, although his research is still in its early stages, it does seem entirely possible that, Van Gogh visited East Suffolk, and that it is looking likely that he might have stayed in the White Hart Inn. However, whether Van Gogh ever sketched the starry, starry skies of 19th century Wickham Market we have yet to discover. Prof A Loof Lipr thinks that this is entirely possible.
Olaf Prilo - E Suffolk/South Holland Art Links