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About Lucian Freud

Lucian Freud examining Van Gogh's 'Self Portrait'
Lucian Freud examining Van Gogh's 'Self Portrait' (1887), Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam, 2009 (photo), David Dawson,  (b.1960) / Bridgeman Images


1922December 8: Lucian Freud is born in Berlin. His father is Ernst (an architect and the youngest son of Sigmund Freud) and his mother is Lucie (née Brach) the daughter of a grain merchant. The family live near the Tiergarten and spend summers at Hiddensee near Rügen on the Baltic Sea and on Freud's maternal grandfather's estate near Kotbus.
1933Freud and his family move to London. They are not refugees but emigrate voluntarily. Freud goes to school at Dartington Hall, Devon and Bryanston in Dorset.
1938Sigmund Freud arrives in London. Freud’s drawings are included in an exhibition of children’s art at Guggenheim Jeune, Cork Street.
1939Becomes a naturalised British subject. His grandfather, Sigmund Freud, dies. Studies for a term at the Central School of Arts and Crafts, London then at the East Anglian School of Painting and Drawing at Dedham, under Cedric Morris.
1940Spends the winter in a retired miner’s house in Capel Curig, North Wales with David Kentish, a school friend from Bryanston who subsequently joined him at the East Anglian School. They are later joined by the poet, Stephen Spender.
1941Serves in the Merchant Navy on a North Atlantic Convoy. He is invalided out and returns to Cedric Morris’s School at Benton End, Suffolk.
1942Moves to Abercorn Place, St. John’s Wood. Drawings exhibited at Alex Reid and Lefevre Gallery, London.
1943Moves to Delamere Terrace, Paddington.
1944First one man show at Alex Reid and Lefevre Gallery, London.
1945Visits the Scilly Isles.
1946Spends two months in the summer in Paris where he makes his first two etchings, The Bird and Chelsea Bun. Spends five months on the island of Poros, Greece (with John Craxton).
1947Shows at the London Gallery.
1948Marries Kitty Garman, the daughter of Kathleen Garman and the sculptor Jacob Epstein. Moves to Clifton Hill, Maida Vale.
1949-1954Visiting tutor at the Slade School of Art, London.
1950Hanover Gallery, London.
1951Wins Arts Council Great Britain Purchase Prize for Interior in Paddington 1951 (now in the Walker Art Gallery, Liverpool) exhibited in Sixty Paintings for ’51, part of the Festival of Britain.
Hanover Gallery, London.
1953Marries Lady Caroline Blackwood.
1954Represents Britain, along with Ben Nicholson and Francis Bacon at the 27th Venice Biennale. Some thoughts on painting published in Encounter Magazine.
1955Second prize in the Daily Express Young Artist’s Exhibition at the New Burlington Galleries, London with Hotel Bedroom 1954 (now in the Beaverbrook Art Gallery, Fredericton, New Brunswick, Canada).
1958Marlborough Fine Art, London.
1962Moves to Clarendon Crescent, London W11.
1963Marlborough Fine Art, London.
1967Moves to Gloucester Terrace, London W2.
1968Marlborough Fine Art, London.
1970Death of his father, Ernst Freud.
1972Moves to Thorngate Road, Maida Vale. Completes The Painter’s Mother the first in a series of painting ending with The Painter’s Mother – Dead 1989 (The Cleveland Museum of Art).
Leaves Marlborough Fine Art.
Anthony d’Offay Gallery, London.
1974First retrospective at Hayward Gallery, London and touring.
1977Moves to Holland Park.
1978Anthony d’Offay Gallery, London.
1979Nishimura Gallery, Tokyo.
1981A New Spirit in Painting, Royal Academy of Arts London.
Eight Figurative Artists, Yale Center for British Art, New Haven.
1982Lucian Freud, monograph by Lawrence Gowing published.
Returns to etching and makes 15 etchings.
Anthony d’Offay Gallery, London.
1983Created Companion of Honour. Leaves Anthony d’Offay Gallery with James Kirkman who continues as his agent.
1984The Hard Won Image, Tate Gallery, London.
The Proper Study, Lalit Akademi, Delhi and Bombay.
1987Selects images The Artist’s Eye for the National Gallery, London.
1987-1988A School of London organised by the British Council at Kunstnernes Hus, Oslo tours to Louisiana (Denmark), Venice and Düsseldorf.
Retrospective organised by the British Council at Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Smithsonian Institute, Washington DC. This is the first major retrospective of Freud’s work shown outside Britain. Tours to Musée National d’Art Moderne, Paris, the Hayward Gallery London and Neue Nationalgalerie, Berlin.
1989Death of Freud’s mother, Lucie.
1991-1992Lucian Freud, Paintings and Works on Paper 1940-1991 organised by the British Council at Palazzo Ruspoli, Rome. Tours to Tate Gallery Liverpool: Tochigi Prefectural Museum of Fine Arts: Otani Memorial Museum, Nishinomiya: Setagaya Arts Museum, Tokyo and Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney.
1992Represented by William Acquavella, New York.
1993Awarded the Order of Merit.
1993-1994Lucian Freud’s Recent Work at the Whitechapel Art Gallery, London. It tours to the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York and the Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofia, Madrid.
1994Recent paintings hung at the Dulwich Picture Gallery, London.
1995From London: Bacon, Freud, Kossolf, Andrews, Auerbach, Kitaj organised by the British Council at the Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art, Edinburgh.
1996Lucian Freud: Paintings and Etchings at Abbot Hall Art Gallery, Kendal.
Lucian Freud, new work at Acquavella Galleries, New York.
1997Lucian Freud: Early Work at the Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art, Edinburgh.
1998Lucian Freud: Some New Paintings, Tate Gallery, London.
2000Lucian Freud: recent work 1997-2000, Acquavella Galleries, New York.
2001Donates portrait HM Queen Elizabeth II 2001 to the Royal Collection.
2002Lucian Freud, Tate Britain curated by William Feaver. Tours to Fundació “La Caixa”, Barcelona and The Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles.
Constable selected by Freud at the Grand Palais, Paris.
2004Recent work shown at the Wallace Collection, London and Acquavella Galleries, New York.
2005Lucian Freud at the Museo Correr, Venice during the Venice Biennale.
2006Shows with Frank Auerbach at the Victoria and Albert Museum, London and Acquavella Galleries, New York.
2007Lucian Freud at the Irish Museum of Modern Art, Dublin curated by Catherine Lampert. Tours to the Louisiana Museum of Modern Art, Denmark and the Gemeentemuseum, The Hague.
Lucian Freud: The Painter’s Etchings at the Museum of Modern Art, New York curated by Starr Figura.
2010Lucian Freud: L’Atelier at the Pompidou Centre, Paris curated by Cecile Debray.
2011Dies 20 July
2012Lucian Freud Portraits at the National Portrait Gallery curated by Sarah Howgate.
Lucian Freud Drawings at Blain Southern in London and Acquavella Galleries, New York.