“The viable, surefooted, impenetrability of his persona”

Lucien Freud, Reflection, 1985“One may recognize the latest work and the earliest, as well as the successive styles between, as one man’s uses for art. That is not to account for them. Painting offers itself unaccounted for, uninterpreted, unexcused. Freud’s rather few remarks about art in general set store by the defiantly inexplicable spell that the image arts achieve at their peak. The viable, surefooted, impenetrability of his persona is intended. Again, one is now unaccustomed to a daemon like this in the polite community of the visual arts, but in the past art was full of such people. This is how the young men of the Renaissance must have been, with their eyes on anatomy and the main chance, on the street corners at evening when the botteghe came out and the virgins were hurried indoors. I have been able to confirm rather few even of the relevant details of Lucian Freud’s childhood and how he came to painting. There is no evidence for most of the circumstances, least of all the highly coloured ones, that have been described. These myths were not Lucian’s myths.”

From Lawrence Gowing, “Lucian Freud”

Click the image for a very large detail of this painting, his brush strokes are phenomenal. You’ll have to scroll to close the large image, but it’s worth it!

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