This estimate blends recent public auction records with our own private sale data and network demand.
Signed Print Edition of 46
H 57cm x W 73cm
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Joe Syer, Head of Urban & Contemporary Art
This etching was executed by Lucian Freud in 2000, and depicts the artist's beloved pet dog Pluto towards the end of its life. The docile dog's figure assumes the centre of the composition, with a hand - likely Freud's own - reaching down from the top right-hand corner of the work. Around this hand, and the figure of the dog, Freud has etched a shadow to ground the intimate scene.
Gifted to Freud by a close friend in 1988, Pluto became one of Freud's most cherished companions and an important presence in his studio. While his 1988 etching Pluto portrays the whippet as a young pup, Pluto Aged Twelve is a poignant image of the adored pet towards the end of his life. When compared with this earlier representation, Pluto appears rather fragile in this 2000 etching, with a tearful glint in his eye and a hand reaching down to comfort him.
Though Freud had many pet dogs throughout his life, Pluto seems to have been his favourite. So vital was Pluto in Freud's personal life that his daughter, fashion designer Bella Freud, used the dog as her mascot for her eponymous fashion label, as we see in Bella In Her Pluto Shirt. After Pluto's death, Freud was left so distraught that he bought a new whippet, Eli, for his studio assistant and good friend David Dawson, who remained in Freud's studio until the artist's death.