• When The Courtauld Institute of Art opened in 1932, tuition fees were set at £35 per year.

  • Vincent van Gogh’s Self-Portrait with Bandaged Ear was bought by Samuel Courtauld in 1928 for £10,000. Seventy years later, another of van Gogh’s paintings, Self-portrait without Beard, was sold in New York for $71m.

  • Hugh Grant gave up his place to study at The Courtauld when offered his first film role.

  • Viscount Lee of Fareham, one of the three founders of The Courtauld Institute of Art, donated his country-residence Chequers to the nation in 1917 for the use of the Prime Minister.

  • The term ‘Post-Impressionism’ was invented by Roger Fry, artist and critic who was an early supporter of The Courtauld and bequeathed his collection to the Institute.

  • Samuel Courtauld’s most expensive acquisitions were Manet’s A Bar at the Folies-Bergère and Renoir’s La Loge; he paid £22,600 (plus commission) for each, in 1926 and 1925 respectively.

  • Celebrated art historian and broadcaster Sir Kenneth Clark was a great supporter of The Courtauld, giving lectures and joining the management committee. The Courtauld lecture theatre now bears his name.

  • In addition to the world-famous collection of over 500 paintings on display in its gallery, The Courtauld cares for over 6,000 drawings and 20,000 prints.

  • The Courtauld Gallery’s home at Somerset House was used by the Royal Academy from 1780-1836.

  • The Courtauld’s former director Anthony Blunt was played by James Fox in A Question of Attribution - an Alan Bennet play about Blunt’s years working as a Soviet spy.

 

  • The Second World War drastically reduced the Institute’s activities – in 1941-42 its student body was made up of three people.

  • The painting Nevermore by Paul Gauguin was first owned by English composer Frederick Delius. He bought it for 500 francs.

 

  • Edouard Manet’s A Bar at the Folies-Bergère, the most iconic painting in The Courtauld Gallery, is thought to have been  the first work of art ever transported by aeroplane to an exhibition (in 1932)

  • The Courtauld appears in numerous works of fiction. Most recently, the lead character in Michael Frayn's Headlong,shortlisted for the 1999 Booker prize,spends hours in The Courtauld’s Witt library researching a mysterious panel painting attributed to Pieter Bruegel the Elder