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The Painter of Flesh - Lucian Freud

Updated on September 28, 2015

Lucian Freud in Amazon

The Painter of Flesh

Lucian Freud was born in Germany in 1922, the jewish family escaped from the rise of Nasizm and moved to England in 1933. He is the grandson of Sigmund Freud.

He is one of the most important figurative artists of 20th century.

He is unique and famoust with his two kinds of pictures: psychologically disturbing portraits and extraordinary nudes (like old and fat nude woman), he painted mostly the people around him like lovers, friends, children and some marginal underworld characters.

Most of his paintings are unique because they always talk about psychological penetration. You can find the discomforting relation between the model and artist.

In a century where cubism, pop-art,abstract expressionism are popuar his figurative paintings were neclected for some time but he kept painting his nudes and potraits.

The paintings were done with the brusque, sweeping strokes of a hog’s hair brush. The paint is applied thickly onto the canvas until the clumps of it congealed into gloppy approximations of flesh. They call him the painter of Flesh.

In his paintings you can see melancholy, wasted lifes or his subjects show a carnal appetite but they are not sexy. He paints fat women, middle aged women, ugly men, sagging breasts, folded skin. I find his nudes real.

Freud painted Queen Elizabeth

Queen Elizabeth portrait is very extraordinary as all Lucian Freud works. It is very small. And has a sour sneery face. In this splodgy paint, she is wearing her "bored Queen Mary" expression. (Queen Mary could look extremely fierce.)

When one of her ladies-in-waiting saw it, she said to the Queen: "Ma'am, you're very lucky that..." and the Queen finished her sentence: "...that he didn't paint me in the nude? I've thought of that."

"I want to paint flesh" Lucien Freud

Naked Fat Woman Picture is Sold for $33M

In 2008 Lucien Freud's "Benefits Supervisor Sleeping." A life-size portrait of a naked fat and old woman sleeping on a worn-out sofa sold for $ 33 Million in an auction in New York.

Lucian Freud was alive at that time and this total was a record for a living artist.


Your Favorite Figurative Artist?

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On deathbed

Lucian Freud told daughter on deathbed 'I want you to know I'm very selfish' in extraordinary reconciliation

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      Leandro 3 years ago

      I say may we all let our auras dance about us....! Aloha Cloudia....and we can all Wala'au through our auras tohegter! Can you tell I'm enjoying the glossary in Aloha, Where Like You Go? ;)

    • bibliopola profile image

      Işın Tuzcular 3 years ago from Istanbul

      Thanks :)

    • Mel Carriere profile image

      Mel Carriere 3 years ago from San Diego California

      I love that line by the dear old Queen. I have never heard of this artist before, so you have educated me. I really enjoy art that goes beyond the neo-classical traditions and explores the human psyche. Great hub!