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Lucian Freud: Woman Sleeping - Signed Print

Woman Sleeping
Signed Print

Lucian Freud


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Etching, 1995
Signed Print Edition of 36
H 82cm x W 68cm

Joe Syer

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Critical Review

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.

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