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Lucian Freud
M Hambling
W R Sickert
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Lucian Freud title graphic

British Painter 1922-2011


1922 Born December in Berlin, grandson of Sigmund Freud
1939 Freud became a naturalized British subject & moved to England

Studied at Central School of Arts & at Goldsmith's College.

East Anglian School of Drawing & Painting, run by Cedric Morris{1889-1981}
1940s Met Francis Bacon
1944 First show was at Lefevre Gallery
1951 Arts Council Prize, Festival of Britain
1954 Venice Biennale with Francis Bacon & Ben Nicholson
1974 Retrospective at The Hayward Gallery, London
1993 Awarded Order of Merit
2002 In June there was a major retrospective to mark the artist's 80th birthday.
2004 March/April 2004 an exhibition of recent work at The Wallace Collection London which moved to New York in May
  From the 1940s to the end of 1980s he had thirty-five selected exhibitions.
2011 Sadly died on 20th July aged 88.


Lucian Freud OM was an intensely private person & hated to be interviewed.

I know of no other artist who could apply the oleaginous paint with such gusto as Lucian Freud.

The way he emphasized the sheer volume of the paint on to the canvas. The dry textured brushstrokes look as if he used dry plaster to get that sculptural quality.

The portraits of John Minton and his life long friend Francis Bacon painted in 1952 have a smoother quality to them. He used sable brushes to get that glassy effect of tempera, in comparison to the portrait of John Deakin painted in 1964 {which the late Daniel Farson owned} in which he used hog-hair brushes giving a more impasto finish. Deakin is looking somewhat bored after exhaustive sittings, whereas in the photographs by John Deakin in "John Deakin's Photographs" book, taken in the 1960s Freud's expression looks guarded.

Freud explored his subjects in the naked portraits with such psychological intensity, one wonders if his grandfather Sigmund Freud was just as unsettling on the couch.

Apart from the occasional outdoor views, he mainly concentrated on painting interiors. Lucian Freud said that he sought to paint those whom he knew & loved, painting his friends, locals, his children & mother. The paintings of his mother are very tender & moving pieces. She looks intensely sad, but then Freud had this ability to capture the vulnerability of the sitter.

His reflection {self-portrait} painted in 1985 has exceptionally realistic form. The contours of the skeletal frame just ripple under the surface. His scumbled expressive brushstrokes in yellow ochre, cool greys & finishing with that cremnitz white which has a translucency that succeeds in bringing the veins close to the surface.

Some of Lucian Freud's paintings and etchings may be seen at the Tate Online and National Portrait Gallery in London.

Extracts from an interview Freud gave to William Feaver can be heard at the BBC website.

You can see a handful of Freud's works online here at the BBC 'Your Paintings' website.

Current Events


Lucian Freud Portraits
Exhibition at the National Portrait Gallery in London
from 9th February to May 27th 2012.

Lucian Freud: Studio Life
Photographs by David Dawson at Hazlitt Holland-Hibbert Gallery, Bury St. London
until March 2nd 2012

Recent Events

Lucian Freud
An exhibition of Lucian Freud's watercolours, etchings and drawings on nature studies, nudes and portraits. James Hyman Gallery, London W1 in Spring 2009

An exhibition of Lucian Freud's early works of 32 paintings & drawings dating from 1940 - 1958 at Hazlitt Holland-Hibbert Gallery, Bury St. London from October 9th to 12th December 2008

Lucian Freud & Frank Auerbach
Paintings at the Victoria & Albert Museum, London SW7 until May 29th 2006

New Self Portrait
A new 50 inch square oil portrait by Lucian Freud titled “The Painter Surprised by a Naked Admirer” was on view at the National Portrait Gallery in London until May 8th 2005. The painting then travelled to a Freud retrospective in Venice in June 2005.

Solo Show
A solo show of Lucian Freud's new work of paintings & etchings was held at the Wallace Collection in London from 31st March to 18th April 2004, before moving to New York in May

Lucian Freud: Etchings 1946 - 2004
From 2nd April to 13th June 2004
Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art, Edinburgh

Lucian Freud in the Studio
From 30th March to 1st August 2004
Photographs by David Dawson, National Portrait Gallery, London WC2

80th Birthday Retrospective
There was a major retrospective of Lucian Freud's work in June 2002 at London's Tate Britain to mark the artist's eightieth birthday.
Francis Bacon & Lucian Freud became lifelong friends in the 1940's. Freud painted Bacon and he was very keen to have the painting, which was stolen in 1988, exhibited in that exhibition. The painting has not been recovered up to now.


Recommended Books

Clicking on any linked title will take you to our Book Shop. From there you may buy many of the titles from either Amazon.com or Amazon.co.uk
Modern English Painters {Vol 3}
  By John Rothenstein
Lucian Freud
  By Lawrence Gowing
Lucian Freud's Paintings
  By Robert Hughes
Lucian Freud
  By Bruce Bernard



Lucian Freud

Works on Show in UK
  A list of galleries in the UK showing Freud's works

Other Artists

Francis Bacon
  British Artist (1909 - 1992)
Maggi Hambling
  British Artist (1945 -)
Walter Sickert
  British Artist (1860 - 1942)


Tate Online
  The Tate has a number of Lucian Freud's paintings, many of which may be viewed online.
BBC 'Your Paintings'
  You can see a few of Lucian Freud's works online at the BBC 'Your Paintings' website.
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Updated 6th June 2012