(British, 1922–2011) is an artist best known for his unique, realistic treatment of nudes and impressive portraits. The grandson of Sigmund Freud, the artist was born in Berlin, but escaped the rising Nazism in 1933 and went to England, where he became a citizen in 1939. Between 1938 and 1943, Freud studied at the Central Saint Martin’s School of Art and at the Goldsmith’s College in London, as well as at the East Anglican School of Painting and Drawing in Dedham. After serving in the British Navy during World War II, he began to pursue his career as an artist full time. Freud established a formidable reputation after winning a prize at the Festival of Britain in 1951 for his Interior at Paddington
, and reached international renown for his work at the Venice Biennale in 1954.
Early on, he established what would become a lifelong focus on portraits and nudes, which he often depicted in arresting close-up. His early work was meticulously painted, and has sometimes been described as Realism, but the subjectivity and intensity of his work has always set him apart from the sober tradition characterized by British figurative Post-War art. As an emerging painter, Freud was heavily influenced by British artist Francis Bacon
’s disruptive smear, and portrayal of the innate perversity of the human existence. Like Bacon, Freud succeeded in turning his models’ bodies into a painterly residue, recognizably human but still grossly material. His later paintings, from the late 1950s on, feature even broader and more expressive brushstrokes, and include a series of portraits of Freud’s friends and family, exhibiting his closest relationships. Freud passed away in London at the age of 88.