Lucian Freud

Lucian Freud

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by William Feaver

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This volume, with more than 400 reproductions, will be the most comprehensive publication to date on Lucian Freud, covering a span of seventy years and including many works not previously reproduced. The result is a corpus of great works that reveal him to be the premier heir today of Rembrandt, Courbet, and Cézanne. The book includes not only Freud’s


This volume, with more than 400 reproductions, will be the most comprehensive publication to date on Lucian Freud, covering a span of seventy years and including many works not previously reproduced. The result is a corpus of great works that reveal him to be the premier heir today of Rembrandt, Courbet, and Cézanne. The book includes not only Freud’s paintings but also his sketches, woodcuts, and powerful etchings. While the bulk of his paintings are female nudes, his cityscapes, plant studies, and interiors, executed in his distinctive muted palette and visible brushwork, are all included. Freud, who has lived in London ever since his family left Berlin in 1933 when he was ten, has achieved preeminence through his ruthless perception of the human form. His importance has long been recognized in England, but his present super-celebrity status dates from a retrospective at the Hirshhorn in Washington, D.C., in 1987. William Feaver, painter and for many years art critic for The Observer, provides a unique account of Freud’s preoccupations and achievement. Startling, moving, profoundly entertaining, the book lives up to Freud’s advice to students when getting them to paint self-portraits: “To try and make it the most revealing, telling, and believable object. Something really shameless, you know.”

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly

This testament to the massive oeuvre of one of Europe's most celebrated painters begins with an illuminating biographical sketch by Feaver (former art critic for the Observer), which depicts Freud's journey from favorite son to mediocre student, from reveling womanizer to husband and father. Readers looking for a window into Freud's remarkable method and vision will benefit from the extensive quotes in this section, as well as the four interviews provided. The paintings themselves, richly reproduced, are intense portraits featuring a dark conflict between stark realism and profound emotional pull; his figures, usually nude, capture the vacancy and impact of death in their alarmingly static expressions. Freud's self-taught skill and precision are evident on every page in his careful, heavy brushstrokes (he often cleaned the brush after each stroke) and representational precision. Coming into fruition in the era of pop art and abstract expressionism, Freud emerged, amazingly, as a figurative painter in the most traditional sense: "Expressionism is a translation from what is in life," Freud said. "Expressionism is exaggerated." In light of the stunning work displayed here, his negative opinion of the genre is earned. A necessity for art scholars and an absolute pleasure for the novice, this gorgeous collection of Freud's discomforting work is perfectly fitting in scope and heft. (Nov.)

Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information
Library Journal

This copiously illustrated volume showcases over 60 years of the work of one of the world's greatest figurative artists. Selected in collaboration with Lucian Freud himself, the 380 paintings of nudes, cityscapes, interiors, and etchings are reproduced in beautiful color images. Feaver, former art critic for the Observer , follows the development of Freud's art, showing how the artist broadened from a linear style in the 1950s to the more painterly, dense, and expansive style characteristic of his mature work. Also emphasized are the revealing nude portraits of Freud's own family and friends. Four interviews with the artist offer revealing glimpses into his working methods, such as why he preferred focusing on forms and rhythms. The volume is laden with both engaging text and images. But its price is steep, making it most suitable for large university and museum libraries. Robert Hughes's Lucian Freud: Paintings is another, less expensive option.-Sandra Rothenberg, Framingham State Coll., MA

Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
From the Publisher
“Once you become accustomed to the heftiness of the Rizzoli book, with its nearly 500 pages of high-quality paper, you can find great pleasure in the numerous illustrations and the breadth of vision it gives of the artist’s development, with nearly 40 pictures that have never before been illustrated in books on Freud.” ~The Art Book

“This latest effort will be useful as a sweeping visual appreciation of a painter of major importance.” ~Choice Magazine

Product Details

Abrams, Harry N., Inc.
Publication date:
Product dimensions:
(w) x 12.12(h) x (d)

Meet the Author

William Feaver is a painter, critic, writer, and curator. He is the author of Freud’s previous exhibition catalogue, Lucian Freud (Tate, 2002). He has curated the following exhibitions: Lucian Freud (2002 Tate and tour), Freud (2005 Museo Correr, Venice), and Freud & Auerbach (2006 V&A).

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Lucian Freud 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
Grady1GH More than 1 year ago
From the news release: 'Lucian Freud, widely acknowledged as one of the greatest, most influential and yet most controversial British painters of his era, has died at his London home. News of his death, at the age of 88, was released by his New York art dealer, William Acquavella. The realist painter, who was a grandson of the psychoanalyst Sigmund Freud, had watched his works soar in value over recent years and, in 2008, his portrayal of a large, naked woman on a couch - Benefits Supervisor Sleeping - sold at auction for £17m, a record price for the work of a living artist. Born in Berlin, Freud came to Britain in 1933 with his family when he was 10 years old and developed his passion for drawing. After studying at art school, he had a self-portrait accepted for Horizon magazine and, by the age of 21, his talent had been recognised in a solo show. He returned to Britain after the war years to teach at the Slade School of Art in London. Over a career that spanned 50 years, Freud became famous for his intense and unsettling nude portraits. A naturalised British subject, he spent most of his working life in London and was frequently seen at the most salubrious bars and restaurants, often in the company of beautiful young women such as Kate Moss, who he once painted. A tweet from the writer Polly Samson last night reported that Freud's regular table in The Wolseley restaurant was laid with a black tablecloth and a single candle in his honour.' The director of the Tate gallery, Nicholas Serota, said last night: "The vitality of [Freud's] nudes, the intensity of the 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. His early paintings redefined British art and his later works stand comparison with the great figurative painters of any period.' And surely anyone who has had the privilege of standing before Lucian Freud's art in museum exhibitions will attest to the power of his work. Freud, as much as any painter of the figure today, observed the model not only as a posed subject, but also as a representation of humanity. Often his models were massively overweight as though excess flesh was enchanting to him. But no matter how we each see Freud's work, it does impact us in a visceral way. From his very tiny portrait of Francis bacon's head to the memorable portrait of Queen Elizabeth II to the multiple images of the Leigh Bowery 'portfolio' or his infamous 'Benefits Supervisor Sleeping', his ability to sculpt with paintbrush and palette knife was extraordinary. This book gives a fairly wide spectrum of the artist's output, though it is in no way complete. Freud's output was enormous - in size and in quantity - and we are left with the works of an artist who will always be remembered for his bravery and even audacity to paint what he saw coupled with what he felt. as art critic Tim Marlow stated 'Freud was a very special man. He looked at the world was as if he was painting it but when you saw his paintings you saw how he really saw it.' He will be much missed. Grady Harp