This estimate blends recent public auction records with our own private sale data and network demand.
Signed Print Edition of 25
H 43cm x W 39cm
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Joe Syer, Head of Urban & Contemporary Art
Lucian Freud completed this etching of his daughter, Esther, in 1991 when the sitter was 31-years-old. The portrait focuses primarily on Esther's face, as the composition is cut just beneath the chin, clipping her hair out of the frame. With delicate hatching, Freud delineates her dainty features, wispy hair, and subdued expression. Beneath the focal portrait is the number of the edition and Freud's signature, written in the artist's distinctive handwriting.
One of Freud's 14 acknowledged children, Esther Freud is one of the artist's daughters who returned to sit for her father throughout his career. For his children, sitting for Freud was a way to achieve a closer bond with their somewhat distant father. As Esther said herself: "I sat for him when I was 16 ... That's how I got to know him. We'd never lived in the same city before." Within this particular portrait of Esther, we see the tender relationship between father and daughter realised during lengthy sittings and Freud's beady-eyed observation.
Quite unlike the more frantic mark-making used for portraits of Esther's sister, Bella, Esther's portrait is described with more subtle hatching. Esther gazes down and out of the composition, giving the impression of Freud's intimate gaze on his own daughter. The cropped composition makes her face the focal point of the work, acting almost like a window into her unique character.