RAA to present Lucian Freud’s self-portraits in one extraordinary exhibition
The Sackler Wing of Galleries, Burlington House, Royal Academy of Arts
27 October 2019 — 26 January 2020
One of the most celebrated portraitists of our time, Lucian Freud is also one of very few 20th century artists who portrayed themselves with such consistency.
Spanning nearly seven decades, his self-portraits give a fascinating insight into both his psyche and his development as a painter – from his earliest portrait, painted in 1939, to his final one executed 64 years later. They trace the fascinating evolution from the linear graphic works of his early career to the fleshier, painterly style he became synonymous with.
When seen together, his portraits represent an engrossing study into the process of ageing. Confronting his self-image anew with each work, he depicted himself in youth as the Greek hero Acteon, in sombre reflection later in life and fittingly, for the great painter of 20th century nudes, naked aged 71 but for a pair of unlaced boots.
When asked if he was a good model for himself Freud replied, “No, I don’t accept the information that I get when I look at myself, that’s where the trouble starts”. It is precisely this “trouble” that makes Freud’s self-portraits so intensely compelling – and makes this an unmissable chance to see a life’s work in one show.
Exhibition organised by the Royal Academy of Arts, London in collaboration with the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston.
About Royal Academy of Arts
We are an Academy
We have a lot in common with museums and other galleries, but as an Academy, we have a broader role – to promote not just the appreciation and understanding of art, but also its practice.
We are led by artists
Just as our founders intended, we are still led by many of the greatest artists and architects of the day. Each Royal Academician must be a practising artist, elected by their peers in recognition of their work. Our Academicians represent many different perspectives, but we all share a deep commitment to art and a strong belief in the contribution that artists make to the world.
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Unlike most of our peers, we don’t receive revenue funding from the government and so we are reliant upon the support of visitors, donors, sponsors, and the loyal Friends of the Royal Academy to continue our work.
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