Vale Lucian Freud
One of the greatest British painters of the twentieth century died today after an illness. Lucian Freud’s work is characterised by a muddy palette and thickly layered paint, creating a complex and multi-layered study of the subject. His view of his subject is uncompromising. Even a pregnant Kate Moss seems more real on canvas than she ever does in real life photos.
His work has increased in value over the years: in 2008, Benefits supervisor sleeping, was sold for GBP17m.
Grandson of Sigmund Freud, he was born in Berlin in December 1922, and came to England with his family in 1933. He studied briefly at the Central School of Art in London and at Cedric Morris’s East Anglian School of Painting and Drawing in Dedham.
His first solo exhibition, in 1944 at the Lefevre Gallery, featured the now celebrated The Painter’s Room 1944. In the summer of 1946, he went to Paris before going on to Greece for several months. He has lived and worked his whole life in London.
Freud’s subjects are often the people in his life; friends, family, fellow painters, lovers, children. As he has said ‘The subject matter is autobiographical, it’s all to do with hope and memory and sensuality and involvement really’.
‘I paint people’, Freud has said, ‘not because of what they are like, not exactly in spite of what they are like, but how they happen to be’.
Autobiographical information from Tate Britain .
Images via the Guardian.
Top: Lucian Freud
Middle: Kate Moss 2002
Bottom: Benefits Supervisor Sleeping 2008
23 July 2011