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Lucian Michael Freud

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. Freud is widely regarded as one of the finest figurative painters of the late 20th cent. Maintaining a restrained palette, in the late 1950s he moved from an emphasis on draftsmanship in thinly painted works to a stiffer brush and a much more tactile quality. He is especially known for 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 Museum), 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 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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