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Close up of head and shoulders of Reflection with two children self portrait, LUCIAN FREUD The Self-portraits in cream and black font down right edge.

Lucian Freud

The Self-portraits

By (author) David Dawson
By (author) Joseph Leo Koerner
By (author) Jasper Sharp
By (author) Sebastian Smee


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  • Lucian Freud's arresting self-portraits provide an insight into the enigmatic artist's psyche and document his developing style
  • This book reproduces all of Freud's self-portraits
Full Description

In 1964 Lucian Freud set his students at the Norwich College of Art an assignment: to paint naked self-portraits and to make them ‘revealing, telling, believable… really shameless’. It was advice that the artist was often to follow himself. Visceral, unflinching and often nude, Freud’s self-portraits give us an insight into the development of his style as a painter. The works provide the viewer with a constant reminder of the artist’s overwhelming presence, whether he is confronting the viewer directly or only present as a shadow or in a reflection.

Essays by leading authorities – including those who knew him well – explore Freud’s life and work, and analyse the importance of self-portraiture in his practice and the intensity that he maintained when studying his own.

Published to accompany an exhibition at the Royal Academy of Arts, London (27 October 2019 to 26 January 2020) and the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston (22 February to 25 May 2020). The exhibition was organised by the Royal Academy of Arts, London, in collaboration with the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston.

About the Author
David Dawson is a painter and photographer, and Freud's former studio assistant. Joseph Leo Koerner is the Thomas Professor of History of Art and Architecture and Senior Fellow of the Society of Fellows, Harvard University. Jasper Sharp is Adjunct Curator for Modern and Contemporary Art at the Kunsthistorisches Museum, Vienna. The Pulitzer Prize-winning art critic Sebastian Smee is author of The Art of Rivalry: Four Friendships, Betrayals and Breakthroughs in Modern Art (2016).
Look Inside
Royal Academy of Arts
29th Nov 2019
World excluding USA & Canada
280 mm x 230 mm
152 Pages
130 color
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