On 26 July 1981 Baron Hans Heinrich Thyssen-Bornemisza arrived at Lucian Freud’s studio in order to begin a series of lengthy and numerous sittings for the first of the two portraits that the artist would execute of this leading art collector. That work is now the starting point for the fourth edition of <exchanging gazes>, a series of new installations based around works in the Museum’s Permanent Collections that has been devised in conjunction with the Thyssen’s 20th Anniversary. The final edition for 2012 marks the end of twelve months of celebrations with the figure of Baron Thyssen – one of Freud’s first admirers – acting as the lynchpin that articulates the relationship between two great artists: Lucian Freud and Jean-Antoine Watteau.
On this occasion the installation also includes two invited works: Portrait of Baron H. H. Thyssen-Bornemisza (Man in a Chair) of 1985 and Drawing of Large Interior W11 (after Watteau) of 1983, loaned from private collections. Displayed in the Museum’s first floor Balcony Gallery, they are accompanied by two further works by Freud and one by Watteau from the Museum’s collection: Portrait of Baron H. H. Thyssen-Bornemisza of 1981-1982, Reflection with two Children (Self-Portrait) of 1965, and Pierrot Content of ca.1712.
This new installation is on display in the Balcony Gallery on the first floor, which has direct access from the Main Hall. Entry is free.