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Realist painter Lucian Freud, one of
Britain’s most distinguished and highly regarded artists, has died aged 88.
New York dealer William Acquavella said Freud had died at his London home on
Wednesday after an unspecified illness.
Freud, a grandson of the psycho-analyst Sigmund Freud, was born in Berlin in
1922 and fled to Britain with his Jewish family in 1933, when he was 10.
Freud – particularly known for his paintings of nudes – became a British
citizen in 1939.
last year, a record price for a work on paper by Freud
His works have been increasingly sought after at recent auctions and his
portrayal of an overweight nude woman sleeping on a couch sold in 2008 for
$33.6m (£20.6m) – a world record for a work by a living artist.
‘Lived to paint’
Mr Acquavella described Freud “as one of the great painters of the 20th
“In company he was exciting, humble, warm and witty. He lived to paint and
painted until the day he died, far removed from the noise of the art world.”
Nicholas Serota, director of the Tate gallery, said: “The vitality of
[Freud’s] nudes, the intensity of the still life paintings and the presence of
his portraits of family and friends guarantee Lucian Freud a unique place in the
pantheon of late 20th Century art.
“His early paintings redefined British art and his later works stand
comparison with the great figurative painters of any period.”