Lucian Freud Portraits

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Lucian Freud Portraits
© Crown Copyright: UK Government Art Collection
David Dawson, 'Lucian Freud', 2001

The goggle-eyes look of his ’50s portraits gives way once he takes a step back and stands up behind the easel, hovering over his sitters, before bearing down on them with his brush. In the ’60s, Freud begins to pummel the painted surfaces until they submit to his will, almost sculpting landscapes out of facial fissures and craggy, chiselled bodies. By the ’80s his pictures take on an even less flattering, grittier texture, caked with stubborn clumps of dry paint. In fact, no one but Freud’s mother, Lucie, comes out of this superb 70-year survey of his portraits smelling sweet or sitting pretty. (OW)

To view our gallery 'Lucian Freud: A Career in Pictures' go to


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This exhibition didn't do any favour to this tiringly derivative one trick pony. If you want fifty brushtrokes of same palette in one face look no further than a Hals, whom a few centuries ago not only had better technique but also DID capture the sitter's psyche. Immensely overrated in this country. Justly ignored everywhere else.

Utterly brilliant, no other artist has ever captured the pleasure and shear horror of human body as perectly as Lucian Freud. One not to miss even at the less than ideal and VERY crowded National Portrait Gallery.