MANHATTAN — Vincent van Gogh's "Portrait of a Peasant" is heading to the Frick Collection in the fall, leaving its home in California for the first time in nearly 40 years, the Upper East Side institution announced on Friday.
The loan of the painting, which will be at the Frick from Oct. 30, 2012 through Jan. 20, 2013, is part of an exchange program with Pasadena's Norton Simon Museum that began three years ago. Paintings by Jean-Auguste-Dominique Ingres and Hans Memling have traveled from the Frick to the West Coast, just as other works have come East.
"For the most part, we have featured artists not represented in our own holdings, as is the case with the selection of this remarkable van Gogh portrait," Frick Senior Curator Susan Galassi said in a statement.
"In this instance, the timing feels particularly fortunate, as we’ve spent the last year focusing on artists—Renoir and Picasso—active in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries and somewhat contemporary to museum founder Henry Clay Frick," she said, referring to recent high-profile shows at the institution in the coke and steel magante's Fifth Avenue mansion.
The brightly-colored painting was completed when Van Gogh was living in Arles, the Provence region of France, between 1888 and his death in 1890.
The Dutch artist imbued the ordinary man of the subject with an aura of dignity, according to museum officials.
In writing about his own work, Van Gogh said he created the work by "imagining the terrific man I had to do, in the very furnace of harvest time, deep in the south. Hence the oranges, blazing like red-hot iron, hence the old gold tones glowing in the darkness."