Monday, February 10, 2014


Gustav Klimt painted his Portrait of a Lady in Black in the early 1890s. He must have been operating here under the spell of Sargent and Whistler, who both had made similar and somewhat earlier pictures. Klimt would soon abandon this old-master manner in favor of the golden-mosaic Expressionist pictures that today dominate the market in museum-store postcard-reproduction.

Gustave Courbet painted Italian Woman, or Woman with Yellow Sleeve in the early 1870s. In 2012 this portrait entered the collection of the National Gallery in London.

"Lucian Freud left the painting to the British nation in lieu of tax, in gratitude for the acceptance he and his family found there when they fled Nazi persecution in 1933. Freud became a British citizen in 1939 and remained in the UK until his death in 2011. This work he intended specifically for the National Gallery, which holds 20 Courbets, most of them landscapes." Apollo

I poked around for a better scan of Woman with Yellow Sleeve, but this small one was the best I could find. The picture has remained in private hands up to the present, not widely known. Lucian Freud is said to have kept it in a special room at the top of his house.