Lucian Freud. The Copper Paintings
We are delighted to share with you the first book published by Less. Lucian Freud (1922–2011) is known as one of the foremost 20th-century portraitists. He was obsessed with skin, surface texture, and the sheer force that a single, precisely executed brushstroke can develop. His uncompromising focus and his conviction that true beauty lies not in the prettified but in the pure connects him to Less.
Conclusion of a ten-year research.
In the early 1950s, Freud created several works in oil paint on copper, a technique popular with 17th-century artists such as Rembrandt and Frans Hals, but highly unusual for a painter in the 20th-century. It was originally thought that Freud painted only a handful of 'coppers'—but in fact he produced more than a dozen. After ten years of research, a total of fourteen paintings could be identified. This book brings them all together for the first time.
Extremely close and astonishingly intense.
The grandson of Sigmund Freud, Lucian Freud was born in Berlin in 1922 and emigrated to England with his family in 1933. He turned to painting full-time after World War II and early on established what would become a lifelong focus on portraits and nudes, which he often depicted in arresting close-up. In May 2008 Freud's nude portrait "Benefits Supervisor Sleeping" was sold by Christie's in New York for $33.6 million, setting a world record for a living artist. Freud died in 2011 at the age of 88 at his home in London.
Lucian Freud painting Martin Gayford. Photo: David Dawson