10 things you should know about Lucian Freud
Lucian Freud, the “anti-photoshop” painter is surely one of the most important figures of contemporary art. Known for his outrageously realistic portraits, often deranging, he passed away not long ago, in 2011. Artsper offers you a few facts about his life to know and comprehension elements to understand his work better.
1. Lucian Freud is of Berlin origin
Born in Berlin in December 8, 1922, his family fled to London after Hitler came to power in 1933.
2. He is the grandson of Sigmund Freud
He was the son of Ernst Freud, himself son of Sigmund Freud.
3. His work is autobiographical
All of his works are autobiographical. Practically all the subjects he chooses to paint tell us a part of him and his life.
4. His works reflect his emotions
Only once in his life did Lucian Freud paint a portrait of a person he disliked. And for good reasons! He hated the model so much (Bernard Breslauer, a book dealer) that he was deliberately horrid and mocked him by painting him “even more repulsive than he actually was”. Breslauer immediately destroyed it.
5. Lucian Freud has an almost psychoanalytical method
Grandson of psychoanalysis, it seemed that his grandfather’s heritage transcribed in his artistic approach. He would take a while painting his subjects, sometimes years. He would paint the model multiple times, in different postures, he thought this process helped him understand his subject better.
6. He did not like his contemporaries very much
Close to Francis Bacon, his mentor, Freud did not speak very highly of other artists. Indeed, he called Man Ray “noisy and vulgar”, thought Picasso was “absolutely poisonous” and Max Ernst “heavy and stiff”.
7. He is anti-Renaissance
Lucian Freud hated Renaissance art. It is linked to a period where man was celebrated as founder and creator. Freud did not share this opinion at all. For him ti was vital that man remembered that he is declining matter.
8. He has a particular way of dealing with celebrities
Freud completed some rather unflattering portraits of super model Kate Moss or even Queen Elizabeth. He also liked to paint his friends and some rather mischievous characters. Freud painted a portrait of a bank-robber. He was immortalized with it seems a greater respect shown than Kate Moss or the Queen.
9. He is a great admirer of Bacon
Lucian Freud was deeply influenced by Francis Bacon, and admired him greatly. Francis Bacon was represented in some of his most famous works. Both of them exhibited their art at the 1954 Venice Biennale.
10. He is one of the most expensive artists during his lifetime
He was one of the most expensive living artists of his time with one of his canva sold at 34 million dollars.
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