Renowned artist Lucian Freud died at his London home after a short illness at the age off 88. Grandson of psychoanalyst Sigmund Freud, Lucian Freud has died at his home in London last night at the age of 88.
His realist work and textural depictions of flesh were thought by some to be too disturbing but his paintings became instantly recognizable by this style. The recent sale of his nude composition depicting an obese civil servant lying on a sofa, dubbed ‘Big Sue’, set a world record for the highest fee paid for the work of a living artist when bought by Russian billionaire Roman Abramovich in 2008.
‘The painting took nine months, but that was about two or three days a week,’ says Freud’s subject for the composition, Sue Tilley.
The painting was unflattering to say the least but Freud painted reality, emphasising wrinkles and layers of fat.
‘I want paint to work as flesh, my portraits to be of the people, not like them,’ the artist once said. ‘As far as I’m concerned the paint is the person. I want it to work for me just as flesh does.’
Other models include Jerry Hall and Kate Moss. The vitality of his nudes, intensity of his still-life paintings and the presence of his portraits of family and friends guarantee Lucian Freud a unique place in the pantheon of late-20th-century art,’ says director of Tate galleries, Sir Nicholas Serota.