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Lucian Freud

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Lucian Freud

by David Hockney
pen and ink, 2002
24 in. x 18 in. (610 mm x 458 mm)
Purchased with help from Randolph and Lara Lerner, 2003
Primary Collection
NPG 6638

Sitterback to top

  • Lucian Freud (1922-2011), Artist. Sitter in 62 portraits, Artist of 5 portraits.

Artistback to top

  • David Hockney (1937-), Artist. Artist associated with 14 portraits, Sitter in 49 portraits.

This portraitback to top

This drawing records a relationship between two of Britain's most influential artists and their dialogue about portraiture, stimulated by Hockney agreeing for the first time to sit to Freud. When asked to compare their working methods, Hockney said: 'Lucian takes longer', while Hockney sat almost daily for three months, Hockney's own interest lay in producing a portrait from a single sitting.

Linked publicationsback to top

  • Gayford, Martin (introduction) Hockney, David (appreciation), Lucian Freud: Painting People, 2012 (accompanying the exhibition at the National Portrait Gallery from 9 February to 28 May 2012), p. 17
  • Howgate, Sarah; Stern Shapiro, Barbara; Glazebrook; Mark; White, Edmund; Livingstone, Marco, David Hockney Portraits, 2006 (accompanying the exhibition at the National Portrait Gallery from 12 October 2006 to 21 January 2007), p. 191 Read entry

    In a fascinating exposition of their contrasting artistic practices, Hockney and Lucain Freud (1922-) depicted each other in 2002. When Freud painted Hockney, he spent close to 100 hours with his sitter over four months; valuable time that Hockney says he wouldn't have given to anyone else. Hockney was fascinated to watch how Freud painted and to talk with him over such a long period, noting how he made 'an intense scrutiny through time, layered through different expressions'.1 Freud, in his turn, posed for Hockney for just over a day for a double portrait with his studio assistant David Dawson. He proved a difficult subject, 'losing attention and twisting about'2 but the resulting watercolour, depicting him in his paint-splattered work boots, captures much of his resolute character and Dawson's attentiveness. Freud was also the subject of a pen-and-ink drawing Lucian Freud (2002), in which Freud is caught sleeping in a secondary sketch, and a series of sketchbook drawings, some of which were done from memory but based on information Hockney gleaned from the time spent observing Freud as he sat for him.

    1 Quoted in Marr, The Guardian (2003)

    2 Ibid.

Linked displays and exhibitionsback to top

Subjects & Themesback to top

Events of 2002back to top

Current affairs

2002 was an eventful year for the Royal Family, highlighted by the Queen's Golden Jubilee celebrations, but marred by the death of Princess Margaret, followed just three months later by the death of Queen Elizabeth, the Queen Mother at the age of 101 (making her the longest lived royal in British History).

Art and science

The relationship between two of the greatest modern masters is celebrated in Tate Modern's blockbuster exhibition Matisse Picasso. By exhibiting their works side-by-side, the show revealed the relationship between the two artists from 1906-54.
The 'Party at the Palace' concert in celebration of the Queen's Jubilee brings together stars from the last 50 years of Pop: Paul McCartney, Tom Jones, Brian Wilson, Queen, Ozzy Osbourne and Elton John.


Terrorist bombing attacks on the Island of Bali in Indonesia leave 202 people dead, including 25 Britons. The three attacks took place in a bar, outside a nightclub and outside the United States consulate, and were aimed at foreign tourists, although many locals were also killed or injured. The Islamist group Jemaah Islamiyah were found guilty of perpetrating the attacks.

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