Freud, Lucian Michael

Freud, Lucian Michael

1922–2011, British painter, b. Berlin. A grandson of Sigmund FreudFreud, Sigmund
, 1856–1939, Austrian psychiatrist, founder of psychoanalysis. Born in Moravia, he lived most of his life in Vienna, receiving his medical degree from the Univ. of Vienna in 1881.

His medical career began with an apprenticeship (1885–86) under J.
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, 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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