Francis Bacon's Study for Portrait of Van Gogh III and Study for Portrait of Van Gogh V, are currently on display at the Smithsonian’s Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden in Washington. The works are free to view, included in the Masterworks from the Hirshhorn Collection exhibition which runs until 4 September.
In the 'Francis Bacon Catalogue Rasonné', Study of Portrait of Van Gogh III, 1957, is noted for its 'ferocity of the swirling, palette-knifed foreground', which is in stark contrast to that of the figure in the painting who has been 'disturbed by the agitated, collapsing landscape'.
Described as 'the most discrepant of the Van Gogh series', The Study of Portrait of Van Gogh V, 1957, sees Bacon smooth out his 'expressionist paintwork into semi-abstract bands of bright colour'. The pathological sun has been intensified with a 'piercing illumination and flattened contours of high summer in Arlesian Provence'.
Masterworks from the Hirshhorn Collection
9 June 2016 - 4 September 2017
Smithsonian’s Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden
Please note all details including names, dates and featured works, opening days/hours are subject to change. Ahead of a visiting, we recommend contacting the Smithsonian’s Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden for all confirmation regarding the display.
Excerpts: Martin Harrison, FSA. 57-11 Study of Portrait of Van Gogh III, 1957. 57-13 Study of Portrait of Van Gogh IV, 1957. Catalogue Raisonné Volume II, pages 500 and 504.