This estimate blends recent public auction records with our own private sale data and network demand.
Signed Print Edition of 36
H 82cm x W 68cm
Own this artwork?
Joe Syer, Head of Urban & Contemporary Art
This etching was executed by Lucian Freud in 1995, and depicts one of his most recognised sitters: Sue Tilley, aka Big Sue. Her voluptuous figure stretches across the centre of the composition, and though she has the appearance of being seated, Freud has depicted only her body. Through his thick etched lines that outline her body, Tilley's figure retains a weightiness despite the illusion of being suspended in empty space.
Sue Tilley, aka Big Sue, was introduced to Lucian Freud by her friend - and fellow sitter - Leigh Bowery. Freud was so taken with Tilley's curvaceous form that he painted her four times, and alongside these paintings he explored her naked portrait through his preferred printing medium of etching. Woman Sleeping is related to his painting Sleeping By The Carpet With Lions, where Tilley is depicted sat asleep on a leather chair, with a blanket underneath her. In Woman Sleeping however, the chair and drapery is gone, leaving only her shapely body at the centre of a bare background.
As with many of Freud's other etchings in our Naked Portraits collection of his work, he rarely depicted extremely slim women. As he himself once confessed, "I have perhaps a predilection towards people of unusual or strange proportions which I don't want to over-indulge." Created in the 1990s, when "size zero" was the buzzword in women's popular culture, works like Woman Sleeping show Freud's confrontation of these senseless beauty standards.