PROPERTY FROM THE ESTATE OF RUTH AND JOSEPH BROMBERG SOLD TO BENEFIT THE PRINTS AND DRAWINGS DEPARTMENT OF THE ISRAEL MUSEUM, JERUSALEM
Marlborough Fine Art, London
Acquired directly from the above by the late owners in 1992
London, National Portrait Gallery, The Portrait Now, 1993-94, no. 3
"My Dear Ruth, Thank you for your nice letter. You are a most conscientious sitter - I know that it is not always easy... Looking forward to seeing you on Thursday. All Good Wishes, Frank"
Frank Auerbach, 2nd November 1991
Frank Auerbach first began painting Ruth Bromberg in late 1991. Of the twenty paintings and countless drawings and etchings forged over the course of two decades, Ruth Bromberg Seated from 1992 is the very first from Auerbach's remarkable corpus of paintings after her likeness. Taking pride of place over the mantelpiece in the Bromberg's apartment on Montagu Square, this painting was the centrepiece of the couple's impressive collection. Conspicuously depicting the painter's famous Windsor chair against a field of exuberant and variegated yellow ochre, the present work dramatically exhibits powerfully expressive brushstrokes. Bromberg described sitting for Auerbach as an involving and engaging experience. Indeed, this attitude is clearly redolent in the present work; Ruth's leant-back, peaceful repose is countered by an angular and forceful painterly articulation. Auerbach's image here stands as the result of severe reworking - a technique that in turn marries urgent psychological analysis with a height of charismatic painterly gesture.
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