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 biography by P. Hoban (2014) 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).

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

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