Lucian Freud leaves Corot Painting to The National Gallery
Late artist Lucian Freud has left a painting by Jean-Baptiste Camille Corot as a thank you to Great Britain for welcoming his family when they arrived as refugees in 1933.
He became a British citizen in 1939 and went on to become one of last century’s finest painters before his death aged 88, in July 2011.
The Arts Council England have allocated the painting, L’Italienne ou La Femme à la Manche Jaune (The Italian Woman, or Woman with Yellow Sleeve), to the National Gallery under the Acceptance in Lieu scheme, which allows people to transfer works of art and important heritage objects into public ownership in lieu of inheritance tax. Freud specified in his will that he wanted the painting to have its new home in the National Gallery so it could be enjoyed by future generations.
L’Italienne ou La Femme à la Manche Jaune (The Italian Woman, or Woman with Yellow Sleeve)’ was painted in Corot’s Paris studio and dates from the last years of his life. It depicts a distinctive looking woman, turning away and gazing into the distance. It is highly detailed and exquisite in its craftsmanship, offering a fantastic example of Corot’s later works.
‘L’Italienne’ (about 1870) was bought by Lucian Freud at an auction in 2001, and then hung on the top floor of his London home. It hasn’t been shown in public since it was on display in the Louvre, Paris, in 1962.
The portrait joins 20 paintings by Corot currently in the National Gallery’s collection, which range from a sketch made during his first trip to Italy to a ‘souvenir’ landscape of 1874. In addition to these the Gallery has the late, great decorative panels The Four Times of the Day on loan from the Loyd Collection.
‘L’Italienne ou La Femme à la Manche Jaune (The Italian Woman, or Woman with Yellow Sleeve)’ will go on display in Room 41 of the National Gallery on Monday 4 February 2013. www.nationalgallery.org.uk