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Lucian Freud: Kai - Signed Print

Kai
Signed Print

Lucian Freud

POA

This estimate blends recent public auction records with our own private sale data and network demand.

Etching, 1991
Signed Print Edition of 40
H 79cm x W 63cm

Joe Syer

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Critical Review

Intensely dedicated to his craft, Freud was a somewhat distant father to his 14 acknowledged children. However, when his offspring gave him the chance to draw, paint, or etch their portrait, he built close and intense relationships with them during their lengthy sittings. Kai Boyt, son of fellow artist Suzy Boyt and half-brother to Isobel ("Ib") Boyt, is not Freud's biological son, but the artist always referred to him as his "stepson". Though Kai seems unable to look the viewer - or Freud - directly in the eye, this portrait is executed with such minute attention to detail that it reveals Freud's close observation of every part of his being. With minimal mark-making on his eyelids and eyelashes, Freud shows where the light hits his face, casting natural shadows down his cheeks. Freud painted Kai as a child, and created a series of paintings and etchings of him as a man, speaking to Freud's familiarity with his portrait and the uniquely close relationship between the two.

Freud would sometimes subject his sitters to months, if not years, modelling in the studio. This is not to say that Freud was a slow-worker, but that he felt it essential to meticulously observe his sitters to truly ascertain their character and translate it in his portraiture. Kai is testament to the success of this process: this is not only a portrait of a family member, but a psychologically penetrative study of someone he seemed to truly know and understand.

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