Freud oil painting is loaned out

Council museums and gallery manager Mark Simmons with the Lucian Freud painting
Council museums and gallery manager Mark Simmons with the Lucian Freud painting

A COUNCIL-owned Lucian Freud painting will go on display at an international touring exhibition.

Hartlepool Borough Council’s decision to loan the oil painting – Head of a Woman – comes just days after the renowned realist painter died at the age of 88.

The painting is in storage but it has been on display regularly in Hartlepool.

The picture will be loaned to the respected international art gallery owners Blair/Southern between January and the end of June next year. It will be included in an exhibition called Lucian Freud: Drawing.

The exhibition will open at Blain/Southern in London, next February, before travelling to Acquavella Galleries, in New York, were it will be displayed between April and June.

The painting has been owned by the council since 1971 when it was bought as part of package of other art. The council has not disclosed its value.

Independent councillor Hilary Thompson, portfolio holder for culture, leisure and tourism, approved the temporary loan at a recent meeting.

Other major lenders who have been approached for loans include the British Museum, the National Museum of Wales and the V&A.

Coun Thompson said: “This will help raise our profile. It is excellent that a painting from Hartlepool will be up alongside paintings from British Museum and the V&A.

“This is certainly approved and it is lovely to be asked.”

The Lucian Freud: Drawing exhibition is being curated by renowned art critic and Freud biographer William Feaver.

All costs associated with the loan, including transport and insurance, will be covered by Blain/Southern and Acquavella Galleries.

A report to the meeting said: “The artwork will be transported in its bespoke crate, door-to-door, nail-to-nail, by highly experienced international art handlers and shippers. A professional art courier will accompany the work during transportation.”

Blain/Southern and Acquavella Galleries will insure the artwork for the length of the loan.

John Mennear, the council’s assistant director of child and adult services, said: “We are delighted to be asked to help with this.

“It highlights the high quality of the collections in Hartlepool.

“Exhibitions of his work are major events in the arts and cultural world, and it is a great privilege to be asked to contribute to the exhibition.”

Born in Berlin, Freud came to Britain in 1933 with his family when he was 10 and developed his passion for art.

He died at his London home on July 20.