By Lon Levin
The grandson of famed pyschoanalyst Sigmund Freud passed away recently and barely made a ripple in popular culture. But he was an important figure painter and one whose paintings are highly prized among museums and collectors. Case in point his nude portrait of a heavy-set civil servant reclining on a sofa “Benefits Supervisor Sleeping” sold for $33.6 million at a Christie’s auction.
Lucian freud was born in Berlin in 1922. In 1933 his family fled Germany and settled in London. There Freud studied art at the School of Arts and Crafts in London. In 1939 he became a British citizen and during World War 2 he served with the British Merchant Marines.
One of his biggest influences was painter Francis Bacon. He was a bold painter who often painted unflattering self-portraits of himself undressed. He brought a whole new meaning to figurative painting and was extremely influential on a new generation of painters. In 1993 the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York presented a retrospective of his work which helped boost his reputation. “In company he was exciting, humble, warm and witty,” his art dealer Acquaville said in a statement. “He lived to paint and painted until the day he died, far removed from the noise of the art world.”