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Freud, Lucian (1922–2011) By Arya, Rina

DOI: 10.4324/9781135000356-REM1188-1
Published: 01/10/2016
Retrieved: 30 May 2023, from


Lucian Freud was a British painter and draughtsman whose work is characterized by his intense figure studies and muted palette. Born in Berlin on 8 December 1922, Freud was the grandson of Sigmund Freud. His family moved to England in 1933, where he would remain for the rest of his life. In 1939 Freud acquired British citizenship; during the same year, he studied at the East Anglian School of Painting and Drawing, under Welsh-born painter Cedric Morris. Freud’s work is characterized by a realism of the flesh, as seen in his portraits and nudes, and by dramatic charge. From the late 1950s, Freud’s work became freer in his handling of paint, which is conveyed by the exploration of the spatial contours of faces and bodies. His figures are situated in stark interiors which add to the pervasive feeling of alienation. Freud was part of the post-war generation of British realist painters who were preoccupied with the human figure. He is loosely associated with Neo-Romanticism and is part of the “School of London” with other artists including Francis Bacon, Michael Andrews and Leon Kossoff; however this grouping was primarily based on social affiliations rather than on shared artistic preoccupations, with the exception of their common interest in the human form.

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Citing this article:

Arya, Rina. "Freud, Lucian (1922–2011)." The Routledge Encyclopedia of Modernism. : Taylor and Francis, 2016. Date Accessed 30 May. 2023 doi:10.4324/9781135000356-REM1188-1

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