Frick Collection to Present Rare Van Gogh “Portrait of Peasant” for First Time in 40 Years

This fall, the Norton Simon Museum in Pasadena, California, will lend Vincent Van Gogh’s “Portrait of Peasant (Peasant Escalier)” (1888) to New York City’s Frick collection. This will be the painting’s first time in the city in 40 years. The masterpiece will be on view from October 30, 2012 through January 20, 2013.

The loan is part of an ongoing exchange program between the two museums. The painting depicts a weathered man in a bright yellow hat and a turquoise blue jacket against a background of dark blues. In a letter to his brother, the artist noted that the sitter, named Mr. Patience Escalier, bore a strong resemblance to their father.

The work’s bright colors and rough subject matter show van Gogh’s turn away from more mainstream ideas of Impressionism, toward the expressionist tendencies and heavy impasto of Post-Impressionism. Alongside the painting’s arrival, the Frick will host a series of lectures and gallery talks exploring its significance.