Lucian Freud

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Lucian Freud, OM, CH (8 December 192220 July 2011) was a British painter and printmaker. He was born in Berlin, Germany and is the grandson of psychotherapist Sigmund Freud and brother of politician and writer Clement Freud.


Lucian Freud : Paintings (1987)[edit]

  • I always felt that my work hadn't much to do with art; my admirations for other art had very little room to show themselves in my work because I hoped that if I concentrated enough the intensity of scrutiny alone would force life into the pictures. I ignored the fact that art, after all, derives from art. Now I realize that this is the case.
  • My colour has no symbolic function whatever. I don't want any colour to be noticeable. I want the colour to be the colour of life, so that you would notice it as being irregular if it changed. I don't want it to operate in the modernist sense as colour, something independent. I don't want people to say, "Oh, what was that red or that blue picture of yours, I've forgotten what it was."
    • Lucian Freud: Paintings (1987), p. 16
  • When I look at a body I know it gives me choices of what to put in a painting; what will suit me and what won't. There is a distinction between fact and truth. Truth has an element of revelation about it. If something is true, it does more than strike one as merely being so.
    • Lucian Freud: Paintings (1987), p. 20
  • I am only interested in painting the actual person; in doing a painting of them, not in using them to some ulterior end of art. For me, to use someone doing something not native to them would be wrong.
    • Lucian Freud: Paintings (1987), p. 20
    • Words cited by Hughes as written by Freud on a wall in his studio.
    • Lucian Freud: Paintings (1987), p. 22


  • I think half the point of painting a picture is that you don't know what will happen … that if painters did know what was going to happen they wouldn't bother to do it.
    • Interview with Martin Gayford, Independent on Sunday 26 May 2002
  • I paint people not because of what they are like... but how they happen to be.
    • "A Queen of many colours," interview with Martin Gayford, Daily Telegraph, (2006-04-20), p. 3

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