This exhibition unites Lucian Freud’s self-portraits for the first time ever, revealing how the modern master of British art turns his unflinching eye firmly on himself.
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.