FREUD, Lucian Michael

1922 - 2011

Lucien Freud

Lucian Freud was born at Berlin, Germany on 8 December 1922, into an artistic middle-class Jewish family. His father Ernst Ludwig Freud (1892-1970) was an architect, his mother Lucie née Brasch (18961989) studied art history, and his grandfather was the paradigm-shifting psychoanalyst Sigmund Freud. In 1933, Freud and his family left Berlin to escape Nazism and settled in London but the Freud family were closely associated with Walberswick, Suffolk since the 1930s spending part of each year there and Ernst designed the 'Hidden House' for his wife Lucie and their sons Stephen, Lucian and Clement. In 1954 Ernst sister Anna (1895-1982), purchased 'Far End' following the death of her metal-worker friend Philip Frederick Alexander and Sir Clement Freud's wife Jill founded the Southwold Theatre and their daughter Emma, wife of scriptwriter Richard Curtis, were part-time residents. Lucian began making and exhibiting art at a very early age and in 1938 one of his drawings was selected for a show of art by children at Peggy Guggenheim's London gallery. Though the artist was sixteen at that time, the drawing was from 1930, when Freud had been eight. Despite early talent, his unruly behavior resulted in him being forced out of multiple schools; once for dropping his pants in a public street. Serious art training began for Freud when he enrolled in the East Anglican School of Painting and Drawing then at Dedham, Essex, where many believe that his reckless discarding of a cigarette caused the school to burn down in 1939 when they moved to Benton End, Hadleigh, Suffolk. In 1941, after a brief three months spent in the Merchant Navy, Freud finished his studies and by 1943 he had begun to paint seriously and created one of his first important paintings, 'The Painter's Room'. A brief period spent in Europe helped to influence Freud's work, in part when he befriended Pablo Picasso (1881-1973) and Alberto Giacometti (1901-1955) while in Paris in 1946. Once home in London, he joined the staff of the Slade School of Art and began exhibiting in London galleries. He died in London on 20 July 2011.