Large Head by Lucian Freud

Large Head is the third of four etchings that Lucian Freud made of Leigh Bowery, the Australian performance artist.


69 x 54 cm
Art Fund grant:
£3,150 ( Total: £6,300)
Acquired in:
Marlborough Graphics

In this work his eyes are closed, as they are in a few small paintings of him. In many of his etchings Freud seems to find the form by gently casting a fine silken network of lines on to his subject. In this one he also seems to manually prod and model the form with what seems a wraith-like circulation of the air. The shoulder to the viewer's right has been presented in its sideways aspect and the arm made unnaturally large. It is intensely tactile, and here the rhythmic brushstrokes seem to have been mimicked by the needle's freely-hatched gossamer webs. It is, in a way, like a musical improvisation on the theme of Bowery's true likeness - including perhaps a phallic variation - but it is firmly attached to the great palpable reality of the model and his curious and compelling humanity.

Venue details

Norwich Castle Museum & Art Gallery Castle Hill, NORWICH Norfolk NR1 3JU 01603 493625

Entry details

Free with National Art Pass (standard entry £7.95)

2 Jan – 29 Jun, 1 Oct – 31 Dec
Mon – Sat, 10am – 4.30pm
Sun, 1 – 4.30pm

30 Jun – 30 Sept
Mon – Sat, 10am – 5pm
Sun, 1 – 5pm

Closed 1 Jan, 24 – 26 Dec