Archive containing Lucian Freud's childhood drawings kept by mother to go on public show at National Portrait Gallery

By Culture24 Reporter | 17 November 2015

Items from previously unseen archive to join portraits of Freud by Frank Auerbach, David Dawson, Bruce Bernard and Cecil Beaton at National Portrait Gallery

A photo of a dark ink scribble on a sheet of light brown paper
Drawings from the Archive of Lucian Freud have been allocated to the National Portrait Gallery in London as part of the Arts Council England's Acceptance in Lieu scheme© The Lucian Freud Archive
Studies of some of Lucian Freud’s most important artworks, contained in a sketchbook alongside letters and drawings he made as a child in pre-Nazi Germany, could go on public display next summer after being allocated to the National Portrait Gallery through Freud’s estate and Arts Council England’s Acceptance in Lieu scheme.

Freud’s German Jewish mother, Lucie, preserved his earliest drawings, created before the family fled to England when Hitler came to power in 1933. Many of the works are annotated by her, including their date and place.

Curators at the gallery say several of the collection’s drawings, often starting with the nose and eyes before developing outwards, will enhance understanding of Freud’s portraiture, further contextualising their two existing examples of his work – a 1963 self-portrait in oils and a charcoal drawing of Lord Goodman, made before the political advisor became the Chair of the Arts Council.

“The gallery has a strong association with Lucian Freud,” said Dr Nicholas Cullinan, the Director of the NPG.

“This archive, which will in due course be made available to the public, will be a vital source of reference for anyone interested in the life and work of the artist or in portraiture in general.”

The 2012 exhibition, Lucian Freud Portraits, became the gallery’s most visited ticketed exhibition.

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Three galleries to see Freud's works in

Walker Art Gallery, Liverpool
Walter Sickert, Francis Bacon, Lucian Freud, David Hockney, George Shaw, Alison Watt and Jenny Saville are just some of the artists who star in the stunning Reality - Modern and Contemporary British Painting exhibition, which explores the role of painting within contemporary art. Until November 29 2015.

The Queen's Gallery, Buckingham Palace
The first exhibition to focus on images of artists from within the Royal Collection, Portrait of the Artist, not only show-cases self-portraits by world-renowned artists including Rembrandt, Rubens, Artemisia Gentileschi, Freud and David Hockney but also features images of artists by their friends, relatives and pupils, including the most reliable surviving likeness of Leonardo da Vinci by his student, Francesco Melzi.

National Gallery, London
Painters' Paintings: From Van Dyck to Freud concerns a significant group of pictures once owned by fellow painters: Van Dyck’s Titian, Reynolds’s Rembrandt, Matisse’s Degas and Freud’s Corot. This exhibition looks for the first time at these great works of art from the point of view of their illustrious artistic provenance. 
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