As part of the celebrations of the centenary of the birth of Baron Hans Heinrich Thyssen-Bornemisza (1921/2021), the museum is extending the display devoted to its founder: the portraits of him painted by the British artist Lucian Freud between 1981 and 1985. These works attest to the close rapport and long artistic relationship that developed between the two men.
The first belongs to the museum’s permanent collection and depicts the baron in the immediate foreground. The second is a full-length portrait and is owned by the Thyssen-Bornemisza family, which has lent it for this occasion. Completing the group is Jean-Antoine Watteau’s oil painting Pierrot Content (1712), which appears in the background of the first portrait, behind the baron’s shoulder. Freud may have used the main figure as a reference for the second portrait.