The Polish Rider at the Frick

The Polish Rider is a seventeenth-century painting, usually dated to the 1650s, of a young man traveling on horseback through a murky landscape, now in The Frick Collection in New York. When the painting was sold by Zdzislaw Tarnowski to Henry Frick in 1910, there was consensus that the work was by the Dutch painter Rembrandt. This attribution has since been contested, though this remains a minority view. Wikepedia

I’d lapsed into illiteracy after the High School of Music and Art. I could spell, yes…and think a little. I hadn’t forgotten Modigliani. I’d pick up girls at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. I’d wander to the Frick Collection, stand in front of Rembrandt’s Polish Rider, wait for that light, lovely sound of the Frick waterfall. I’d been a cartoonist once. I could draw every hair on King Kong’s head and paint his blue nostrils. But I wanted to be Modigliani and elongate everything with hands, feet and faces were stretched out ike a choo-choo train. I was a counterfeiter. Modigliani manqué. –

From Metropolis (1986) — Jerome Charyn

Jerome Charyn — Photo by Bob Jewett

I was fifteen when Rosenzweig discovered me at the Frick Collection. We were both standing in front of Rembrandt’s Polish Rider, and he came up to me like Count Dracula bathed in perfume and said, “Young man, have you ever modeled before?”

Some nabob with a boutonniere was always trying to flirt with me at the Frick. But Rosenzweig was all business.

“I’m a freshman at the High School of Music and Art,” I said.

He handed me his card, said his chauffeur would pick me up after class.

Adonis from Jerome Charyn’s Bitter Bronx — Thirteen Stories

Wolf dogs in Central Park The little duchess The electric dark of the King Cole The cat lady’s kiss Seducing a cockroach

Link to: The Polish Rider at the Frick

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