Archive for lucian freud

Goodbye Lucian Freud

Posted in ART, ART HISTORY with tags , , , , , , , on July 22, 2011 by echostains


One of my favorite artists Lucian Freud died yesterday – aged 88.   Freud, grandson of the psychoanalyst Sigmund Freud and brother to comedian Clement was born in Berlin 1922, moved to Brittain 1933 and became a British subject in 1939 .  His paintings have two distinct styles, the earlier ones have a more smoother surface, created with thin layers of paint, whilst  the later show a more textural impastod rendition of the flesh. 

Freud’s paintings celebrate flesh – in all its lumpiness and glory.  His work is sometimes can discribed as disturbing, but Freud has never sacrificed honesty for flattery.  The Queen’s portrait which he painted in 2002 caused a lot of controversy – some said he should have been sent to the tower for it 🙂  I think it’s absolutely wonderful as it depicts the Queen as human and ageing, and definitely not in the flattering and pandering  spirit in which most court painters throughout history have painted their monarch.  The jewels on her crown look ghostly and somewhat garish a reminder of another age (and empire) and the Queen herself looks a little put out at having her portrait painted at all.

Leigh Bowery

Freud, along with Francis Bacon and Frank Auerbach explored the human condition through paint.  His thickly applied use of impasto makes the work very tactile.  Most of the people he painted were family or people he knew-

“I paint people,not because of what they are like, not exactly in spite of what they are like, but how they happen to be.”

Girl with a white dog

Freud has been called the foremost figurative artist of his generation.  He painted on until the end of his life.  He continued with figurative painting even when Abstract became more popular.   Freud is believed to have used Cremnitz white for his basic flesh pigment (according to critic Robert Hughes.  Apparently it is a very heavy pigment and contains twice as much of the lead oxide than flake white and a lot less oil medium than other whites.

“I don’t want any colour to be noticeable… I don’t want it to operate in the modernist sense as colour, something independent… Full, saturated colours have an emotional significance I want to avoid.”

Woman Smiling

Freud died after a short illness.  He lived an interesting life, painted a LOT of art, was married several times and had a lot of children.  His art always remained constant and central and he dedicated his life to it.  This extraordinary artist will always be remembered as one of the greatest figurative painters since the Second World War.  I have written some earlier posts about Freud ‘The Painted Queen’ and ‘Bacon by Lightbulb’

More info about this here

Freud quote from here and here

Reflection (self portrait)


Queen image from here

Leigh Bowery

Woman Smiling and Girl with dog


There’s a new post over on my BOOKSTAINS (about time too!)

Bacon by Lightbulb

Posted in ART, ART HISTORY, ART VIDEOS with tags , , , , , on April 15, 2011 by echostains


I came across this interesting video today about an exhibition of Francis’ Bacon‘s work called ‘Francis Bacon, A Terrible Beauty.  The exhibition, which ran from 28th October 2009 – 7th March 2010 was at the Hugh Lane City Gallery, Dublin Ireland. Although I didn’t manage to get to this exhibition, I have been to the Hugh Lane Gallery and seen Bacon’s studio.  When I used to paint down in my cellar. My space looked very much like this (it’s not a big space and has no natural light, just a bare lightbulb just like Bacon’s).  This particular exhibition as well as celebrating Bacon’s Dublin roots, shows the unusual way in which Bacon worked.  Photographs by John Deakin were found all over Bacon’s studio.  Deakin a friend of Bacon’s was an exceptional photographer, brutally honest and just a bit sleazy (the man himself wasn’t an easy man and could be rather unpredictable)  The photos of a very young Lucien Freud in particular reveal the artist in his bohemian habitat and the crumpled, trodden, paint stained, creased and  ripped negatives and photos show Bacon’s fascination with photographic images –  and how he translated this (including their state) into his work.

Thanks to  video

The Ghosts of 2010


Although I have cut down on my  posts from one per day to one every 4 or 5 days in 2010 starting in August, I managed 256 posts.  I hope to improve on this year and continue to build up Bookstains, which is proving popular. This year Echostains celebrated 16 artists birthdays (another area I intend to improve on).  Some earlier categories have gone and I have plans for some new ones.  This year saw the arrival of slide shows and polls.  WordPress is a learning process and I’m still learning:-)

PS This video was completed in 2010 and was supposed to go on New Years day.    I have had to revise it because it was originally over 20 minutes long 😀

Jerry cleans up!

Posted in ART, ART HISTORY, ART VIDEOS with tags , , , , , on November 8, 2010 by echostains

Jerry Hall by Francesco Clemente

You may remember that quite a few posts ago I wrote that Texan model Jerry Hall (ex Mrs Jagger) had decided to put some of her art collection up for auction last month (the post is here).  The collection which included paintings by Lucian Freud, Francesco Clemente and Warhol were sold at auction on the 16th October at Sotheby’s auction house London and Jerry cleaned up!

Jerry Hall by Freud

‘Eight Month Gone’, a portrait of Hall painted by Lucien Freud when Hall was 8 months pregnant with her 4th child  sold for £601.250   (the  original estimate being  £300,000-£400,000).



A Frank Auerbach painting, ‘Head of Helen Gillespie’ was bought by Hall in 1997, estimated at between £700,000 and £900,000 actually went for £1,071,650 –   $1.76 million) (proved to be a good investment indeed!


Another picture by the artist entitled Quinces took £313,250 against a forecast of £150,000-£200,000.


Hall was given an acrylic and silkscreen ink on canvas Dollar sign by Warhol in 1982.  It has the inscription ‘To Jerry’ and was estimated to be worth  between 120,000 pounds to 150,000 pounds.  Of the 14 pieces of art offered by Hall for auction – four remained unsold, but I can’t find any information to what they were.

Jerry has famously said that her reason for selling the paintings was to ‘move on’ from that particular episode of her life and put the past behind her.  She calls it ‘movin on’ in the auction’s catalogue,  “At a certain age you just want to get rid of things,” she says.  I suppose by parting with these – she really does mean what she says!

Article here
A detailed article of more works offered for auction including Warhol’s ‘Diamond Dust Shoes’  here  Quinces imaged here  Hall’s collection offered for auction here  Lots and lots of individual info on Hall’s paintings here

Clearing out Freud

Posted in ART, MY ALTERED ART BOOK PAGES with tags , , , , on September 7, 2010 by echostains

If I was lucky (or rich enough) to own a painting by Lucien Freud I would never be able to part with it.  Not so with Jerry Hall, former wife of Mick Jagger (Rolling Stones).  She is having a clear out: a clean sweep.  She is getting rid of reminders of  Mick Jagger and the life they shared.  Also going to auction (October 15 – 16th) is work by Frank Auerbach (see my post about another favorite artist of mine) and an  Andy Warhol ‘Dollar Sign’ which the artist gave to Hall for helping him with Warhol TV.

Warhol and Hall

Also going under the hammer are works by Damien Hirst (see my post about this artist), R. B Kitaj  and Frank Auerbach (another favorite of mine!)  Posts mentioning Warhol (here and here) and my Freud post are here and here

Jerry-Hall eight month pregnant painted by Freud

Other items that are heading for the auction include a portrait by Freud of Jerry herself whilst pregnant with hers and Jagger’s fourth child.  I’ve always liked and admired Jerry Hall.  Not only is she beautiful to look at , she has brains too.  Coupled with her laid back attitude, her sense of humour, she also has a LOT of dignity.  I have to add that I think she has wonderful taste in art too:)  I shall be watching this auction and reporting back!

Article about this here images from here


The painted Queen

Posted in ART, ART HISTORY with tags , , , , , , on June 1, 2010 by echostains


Annie Leibovitz 2007 Queen's 80th

The Queen of England Elizabeth 11 was born  April 22nd, crowned 2nd June 1953, Mayfair London.  She  celebrates her ‘official’ birthday the first, second or third  of June each year with a special ‘Trooping of the Colour’ or her Birthday parade.  Throughout history, the monarch has always had their portrait painted.   The Queen is no exception. 

Annie Leibovitz Demi Moore

Many artists commemorated the  Queen’s 80th birthday: among them American portrait photographer Annie Liebovitz, famous for her work for Vanity Fair and Rolling Stone magazines.  This picture is one of a series of specially commissioned photos to promote the Queen’s first State visit to USA in 16 years.  Not everyone was happy with it though.  critic Henry Alan from the Washington Post said:- 

“It looks like something you might see in a catalogue offering the Queen herself for sale.”

Whilst I don’t agree with the critic, I do think the Queen looks aloof and alone and inaccessable, which I suppose she is in her role.


Australian artist and entertainer Rolf Harris had a completely different approach.  He wanted his portrait to be more impressionistic than a photographic representation. 

Rolf Harris Queen portrait

  I really like this portrait, I think that the Green lightens the Queen’s persona and gives her a friendly glamourous Granny look (and who’s to say she’s not?) 

“I’m not making any claims that this is the greatest painting in the world,” said Harris, who trained as an artist, “I’ve done the best I can.” 

“I was really thrilled with the impressionistic look, especially the hands,” added the former Animal Hospital presenter. 

“I really like the way you get the blueness of the veins coming through the skin 


A completely different type of portrait was done by Rupert Alexander.  

Rupert Alexander

 This painting was only done recently this year by the 35-year-old artist.  I  think it’s a Masterpiece and it will not look out-of-place in the National Gallery.  All the artist had was three one hour sittings with the Queen! I have never heard of this artist before – but I shall be looking out for his work in the future. 


Suffolk artist Chinwe Chukwuogo-Roy executed this portrait of the Queen in 2002.  In the background she has included some sites in the 

Chinwe Chukwuogo-Roy

Commonwealth, including great Zimbabwe, Sydney Opera House and the Taj Mahal.  She has made the Queen very tall and regal in her rich blue gown.  The whole portrait is lit up with sumptuous colour. 

This portrait is by one of my favorite artists – Lucien Freud.  

Lucian Freud portrait

 You either love it or hate it – I LOVE it of course!  He has not flattered the monarch at all, but he has captured her humanness beneath the dazzling crown.  Each painterly stroke tells of a life of duty and patience, indeed she does look a little weary.  Which of these portraits do you prefer and why?  

Annie Liebovitz article here 

Rolf Harris article here 

 Rupert Alexander article here 

Lucian Freud article here 

Chinwe Chukwuogo-Roy article here check out her gallery here