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Lucian Freud: Ib - Signed Print

Signed Print

Lucian Freud


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Etching, 1984
Signed Print Edition of 50
H 57cm x W 53cm

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Critical Review

Isobel ("Ib") Boyt, daughter to Freud and Suzy Boyt, is one of the artist's children who returned to sit for her father throughout his career. However, as Ib herself has remarked, this was sometimes done reluctantly: "Each time I did a picture with him I swore I'd never do it again, but then I do because it is a way of having a relationship with my dad as well as there is a part of me that if he wants to paint me I am quite flattered." Given his reputation as maverick artist and salacious womaniser, it is no suprise that Freud was a somewhat distant father. However, when his children gave him the opportunity to paint, etch, and simply observe them, Freud revealed the unbreakable bond between them in spite of their tensions.

Ib is the product of a year-long project between Freud and his daughter. The composition of the etching is strikingly similar to a painted rendition titled Head Of Ib, executed 1983-84. Ib presents us with the mirror-image of the painting, but focuses solely on her monochrome portrait, rather than detailing her surroundings. Freud is well-known for the lengthy sitting process he subjected his models to, and would often create etchings after a painting because he had become so familiar with the sitter's appearance and behaviour. Like the painting that inspired this etching, Ib portrays the sitter with her eyes barely open as though on the brink of sleep. Even though the pair certainly had a difficult relationship at times, Ib reveals the peculiar intimacy realised under the gaze of Freud, who observed her as both artist and father.

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