Freud, Lucian Michael

Freud, Lucian Michael 1922–2011, British painter, b. Berlin. A grandson of Sigmund Freud, he settled in England in 1933 and became a British subject in 1939. He is widely regarded as one of the finest figurative painters of the late 20th cent. Maintaining a restrained palette, he moved in the late 1950s from producing thinly painted works, mainly portraits, that emphasized draftsmanship to working with a stiffer brush and creating works with a much greater tactile quality. He is especially known for his unique, highly expressive, heavily impastoed nudes and portraits painted with a disquieting realism that is at once brutally emphatic and richly detailed. Freud's intensely naked nudes, including Painter and Model (1986–87) and Naked Man, Back View (1992; Metropolitan Mus.), have an almost meaty physicality. In portraiture, his best-known works include many self-portraits, for example Reflection with Children (1965) and Painter Working, Reflection (1993), and such works as Francis Bacon (1952; Tate Gallery), David Hockney (2002), and several portraits of his mother (1971–76).

See comprehensive monograph by M. Gayford et al. (2 vol., 2018); biographies by P. Hoban (2014) and W. Feaver (2 vol., 2019–21); studies by L. Gowing (1982), B. Bruce and D. Birdsall, ed. (1996), R. Hughes (1993, rev. ed. 1997), and W. Feaver (2008); M. Gayford, Man with a Blue Scarf: On Sitting for a Portrait by Lucian Freud (2010).

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