Lucian Freud

Lucian Freud, by Lucian Freud, circa 1985 - NPG 7019 - © The Lucian Freud Archive / Bridgeman Images

© The Lucian Freud Archive / Bridgeman Images

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Lucian Freud

by Lucian Freud
oil on canvas, circa 1985
14 in. x 12 in. (356 mm x 306 mm) overall
Accepted in lieu of tax by H.M. Government and allocated to the Gallery, 2016
Primary Collection
NPG 7019

Sitterback to top

  • Lucian Freud (1922-2011), Artist. Sitter in 42 portraits, Artist of 5 portraits.

Artistback to top

  • Lucian Freud (1922-2011), Artist. Artist of 5 portraits, Sitter in 42 portraits.

This portraitback to top

This self-portrait is a rare example of an unfinished painting by the late Lucian Freud. Thought to be painted in the 1980s, the painting demonstrates the artist's method of developing the composition by working out from the centre of the face; while the head and hair are painted in detail, the chin area remains incomplete. Although the self-portrait was a consistent thread running through Freud's work from his teenage drawings until the very end of his life, it presented a challenge for the artist, as he reflected in 1992: 'The way you paint yourself you've got to try and paint yourself as another person. Looking in the mirror is a strain in a way that looking at other people isn't at all.'

Linked displays and exhibitionsback to top

Events of 1985back to top

Current affairs

55 people die in the Manchester air disaster when a British Airtours Boeing 737 bursts into flames after an aborted takeoff at Manchester International Airport.

Art and science

Bob Geldof and Midge Ure organise Live Aid, a rock concert in London and Philadelphia, to raise funds for famine relief. The biggest names in popular music, including Paul McCartney, Queen, Status Quo, The Police, Mick Jagger, David Bowie, U2, The Who, and Led Zeppelin, performed to a TV audience of 1.5 billion.
The British Antarctic Survey discovers a hole in the ozone layer above Antarctica.

International

Reformer Mikhail Gorbachev comes to power as first secretary of the Soviet Communist party. He calls for 'glasnost' (openness) in Soviet life, and pursues a policy of 'perestroika' (reconstruction).
French intelligence operatives sabotage Rainbow Warrior, the Greenpeace vessel. The ship was leading a protest against French nuclear testing in New Zealand when it was bombed and sunk, killing one of the twelve on board.

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