Born in Berlin, the son of architect Ernst L. Freud and the grandson of Sigmund Freud, the highly celebrated artist Lucian Freud (1922-2011) moved to England with his family in 1933. Along with his friend Francis Bacon, he rose to prominence in London in the 1950s and lived and worked in London until his death in 2011. Freud is regarded as one of the leading figurative portraitists of the 20th century.
Though Freud is probably best known for his work in paint, his etchings are also highly acclaimed. Freud created his first etchings in Paris in 1946. The marks and techniques he employed during the etching process were a natural progression from his work as a draughtsman. In his paintings and prints, the influence of one medium on the other can be clearly identified, and indeed he treated the metal plate as he would a canvas, standing it upright on an easel and incising the image into its surface. His subjects were those close and familiar to him, though often anonymous to the viewer. In the majority of Freud's graphic works everything unnecessary is stripped away, leaving little, if any, colour and a minimal background allowing for an extremely stark take on his already searing realism. Unsettling and unyielding, the works contain a remarkable honesty and an awkwardness that adds to the discomforting nature of his psychological portraits.
Works by Lucian Freud can be found in many major international collections, both private and public, including The Art Institute of Chicago, Illinois; The Baltimore Museum of Art, Maryland; Birmingham Museums & Art Gallery, Birmingham, England; Carnegie Institute, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania; Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris, France; Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Washington D.C.; The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofia, Madrid, Spain; Museo Thyssen-Bornemisza, Madrid, Spain; Museum of Modern Art, New York; National Gallery, Cape Town, South Africa; National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C.; Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art, Edinburgh, Scotland; Städelisches Kunstinstitut, Frankfurt, Germany; Tate Modern, London, England; The Royal Academy, England; and the Victoria and Albert Museum, London, England.