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After Chardin Small Plate - Signed Print by Lucian Freud 2000 - MyArtBroker

After Chardin Small Plate
Signed Print

Lucian Freud

POA

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Etching, 2000
Signed Print Edition of 80
H 15cm x W 20cm

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Meaning & Analysis

In 1987, some thirteen years before this etching was produced, Lucian Freud was invited by London's National Gallery to participate in their exhibition series titled The Artist's Eye. Freud's was the third exhibition in this series, and the artist was invited "to disrupt for a month or so the usual historical display of the Gallery's paintings". Chardin's original painting, The Young Schoolmistress, was selected by Freud and curated alongside works which - in Freud's words - shared the quality that "they all make me want to go back to work". Indeed, Chardin's painting inspired Freud so much that he not only made two paintings responding to it, but also a reimagining of the subject in a series of etchings over a decade later.

This particular etching, capturing a zoomed-in cross section of Chardin's original, was likely a predatory study for his etching of the entire composition. By magnifying a small element of Chardin's work, Freud experimented directly onto the etching plate, using hatched marks in layers to build tone, texture, and impressive modulations in light. As the title of the work suggests, the plate is small, but offers us a glimpse into Freud's mastery over his etching process. Freud is renowned today for his treatment of the etching plate almost like a canvas, and this work conveys his adept command of line when printing a portrait.

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