Lucian Freud was a German-born English painter and draughtsman known for his raw portraits and figure paintings of female nudes. The grandson of psychoanalyst Sigmund Freud, Lucian Freud is widely regarded as the greatest painter of the human form during the late 20th and early 21st century.
Lucian Freud had a prolific and successful career. Moving from Germany to England in 1933 to escape the rise of the Nazi regime, Freud began his career as a draughtsman creating etchings of the human face in a surrealist style. In the 1950s, Freud began to make his mark as a realist, painting female nudes (he would go on to paint supermodel Kate Moss) in his distinctive muted palette with heavy brushstroke. He was known to spend hundreds of hours on a single portrait, working to convey the models individuality through the work – his portrait of the Queen was controversially realistic. This time and dedication produced a collection of revered paintings, securing his position as the heir of Rembrandt and Hals. In 2007, Freud became Europe’s most expensive living artist when his full-length portrait of his friend Bruce Bernard sold for £7.86m. The following year, he beat his own world record, selling his piece Benefits Supervisor Sleeping to Roman Abramovick for £17.2 million. In 2015 (four years after his death), Fat Sue sold for £35 million. He also sat for his one-time friend, Francis Bacon, in what is now one of the most expensive paintings of all time: Three Studies of Lucien Freud.
His children, Bella and Esther Freud, both feature heavily in his work and the cover of the first edition of Esther’s novel, Hideous Kinky, was an illustration drawn by her father.
His paintings and limited edition prints are some of the most sought-after pieces of art on the market.