Bowie, John Major, Eddy Grant, Mick Jones, even the talented Sharon Osbourne; all famous residents synonymous with Brixton.
But a more renown name not so obviously closely associated with SW9 is the Vincent van Gogh – who lodged at at 87 Hackford Road while working for an art dealer from 1873 until 1874.
Later today the townhouse where the post-impressionist lived, and loved, as a 20-year-old apprentice will be auctioned by Savills. It is expected to fetch more than £400,000.
The ageing terraced house, nearer Stockwell than Brixton itself, needs serious work and still much as it would have been when van Gogh stayed in his room on the top floor. Details from open fires to the Victorian outside loo help one imagine what it may have been like, and the lucky buyer will need to spend a substantial amount renovating the home that hasn’t been sold for 65 years.
What happened to the fledgling artist while he lived in Hackford Road was brought to life in a major play from 2002; Vincent in Brixton by Nicholas Wright
Interviewed in 2002 Wright said: “We think of Vincent so much as the painter of sunny skies and sunflowers and vivid Mediterranean colours. It’s odd. You don’t connect him with the world of sooty streets and bicycles clips and clanking milk bottles, and I found that very intriguing.”
It was in this house that van Gogh was thought to have had the happiest year of his life. But it all came to an end after he fell unrequitedly in love with his lodger’s daughter, and he was forced to move out to new lodgings in Kennington.
The historic house, together with its blue plaque, goes under the hammer in Northumberland Avenue, Embankment, at 9.30am today.