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Lucian Freud

1 of 65 portraits of Lucian Freud

Photograph © National Portrait Gallery, London

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Lucian Freud

by Jacob Epstein
bronze head, 1949
20 1/8 in. x 8 1/4 in. (510 mm x 210 mm) overall
Purchased, 1978
Primary Collection
NPG 5199

Sitterback to top

  • Lucian Freud (1922-2011), Artist. Sitter in 65 portraits, Artist or producer of 6 portraits.

Artistback to top

  • Sir Jacob Epstein (1880-1959), Sculptor. Artist or producer of 15 portraits, Sitter in 71 portraits.

This portraitback to top

At the time this bust was made Freud was married to Epstein's daughter, Kitty, the subject of a series of paintings that are among the best-known examples of Freud's early work. The bust was originally conceived as a larger work that included Freud's arms and naked torso - a format that Epstein used for several portraits. Explore this portrait from all angles.

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Events of 1949back to top

Current affairs

Following the Republic of Ireland Act in 1948, the Irish Free State becomes the Republic of Ireland and leaves the Commonwealth. The functions previously given to the King were handed to the President of Ireland.
The Second Parliament Act diminishes the power of the House of Lords, reducing their authority to delay bills from two years to one.

Art and science

George Orwell publishes his dystopian novel, 1984. The book imagines a future where totalitarian governments rule; their power based on continual war abroad, and overwhelming propaganda and surveillance at home. With 'Big Brother' keeping a constant check on the citizens' actions and thoughts, the individual loses the faculties of free will and independent thought.


The People's Republic of China is created after the Communist Party wins the Civil War. China became a communist country under Mao Zedong.
Cold War tensions increase as Germany is split into the democratic Federal Republic of Germany in the west (a union of the post-war British, French and American sectors), and the communist German Democratic Republic, in the east.

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Simon Wilson

22 August 2019, 14:20

The forename of the sitter is incorrectly spelt on the base. Presumably you know this and consider the base to be part of the history of the work and so to be left as it is. But maybe a note to give the correct spelling? And to explain why the incorrect one has been left. From what one knows of Freud he would probably have been incandescent had he ever noticed. I have some indirect evidence that he was sensitive about the spelling of his forename.