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A surreal painting of a man
Image: The Lucian Freud Archive / Bridgeman Images / Museo Nacional Thyssen-Bornemisza, Madrid

A new Lucian Freud exhibition is coming to the National Gallery next year

The Queen lent a portrait of herself for the show

Written by
Chiara Wilkinson

The National Gallery has just announced a major new exhibition celebrating the work of late twentieth-century figurative painter Lucian Freud. Praised for his realistic painting style, Freud is known for his ‘anti-photoshop’ portraits: he wasn’t afraid to depict wrinkles, pubic hair and cellulite in all of their human glory. A man ahead of his time, some might say. 

‘Lucian Freud: New Perspectives’ opens in October 2022, one hundred years after the artist’s birth. Featuring more than 60 loans from collections across the world, it’s a major survey of Freud’s paintings, presenting the transformation in his style across the years.  

Unsure what to expect? Well, in 1987, Freud curated one of the National Gallery’s famous ‘Artist’s Eye’ exhibitions, writing: ‘What do I ask of a painting? I ask it to astonish, disturb, seduce, convince.’ Fingers crossed this show lives up to at least one of those distinguished criteria. 

If you’re curious about the exhibition highlights, look out for Freud’s late nude portraits, his early ’40s ‘Girl With Roses’ work, as well as a portrait of Her Majesty. The Queen loaned ‘HM Queen Elizabeth II’ from the royal collection specially for the show, and it’s a bit of a controversial one. Some critics reportedly compared it to a corgi, while others said it looked more like a rugby prop – flattering. 

‘Lucian Freud: New Perspectives’ will take place from Oct 1 2022-Jan 22 2023 at the National Gallery. Ticket information will be released soon. You can keep up to date about the exhibition here

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