May 16, 2019 - Sale 2509

Sale 2509 - Lot 267

Estimate: $ 10,000 - $ 15,000
Head and Shoulders.

Etching on Somerset wove paper, 1982. 248x298 mm; 9 3/4x11 3/4 inches, full margins. Artist's proof, aside from the edition of 20. Initialed and inscribed "Studio Proof" in pencil, lower margin. Printed by Palm Tree Studios, London, with the blind stamp, lower right. A superb impression of this very scarce etching.

Freud (1922-2011) was among the foremost 20th century British painters, specializing principally in portraiture. He was born in Berlin, the son of a Jewish architect and the grandson of Sigmund Freud, his family moved from Berlin to Britain in 1933 to escape the rise of Nazism.

He studied at the Central School of Art in London, and from 1939 to 1942 with greater success at Cedric Morris' East Anglian School of Painting and Drawing in Dedham. He also attended Goldsmiths' College, part of the University of London, in 1942–43, and soon thereafter served as a merchant seaman in World War II.

Freud's early paintings, which are mostly small in scale, are often associated with German Expressionism and Surrealism. From the 1950s he began to focus almost exclusively on portraiture. By around 1960, Freud had established the style that he would use, with some changes, for the rest of his career. His portraits often depict only the sitter, sometimes sprawled naked on the floor or on a bed or alternatively juxtaposed with something else whether an animal or inanimate object. Freud painted from life, and usually spent a great deal of time with each subject, demanding the model's presence even while working on the background of the portrait.

Freud began experimenting with etching in the 1940s, creating 6 early plates that reveal the style and subject influence of René Magritte and Fernand Léger among others, and rediscovered the medium in the early 1980s, producing more than 75 etchings over the next several decades of his late career. Hartley 21.