Surprising Young Lucian

Lucian Freud Drawings

an exhibition at Blain/Southern, London, February 17–April 5, 2012, and Acquavella Galleries, New York City, May 1–June 9, 2012
Catalog of the exhibition by William Feaver and Mark Rosenthal
Blain/Southern/Acquavella, 227 pp., $55.00

It isn’t altogether news that the realist painter Lucian Freud, who died last July at eighty-eight, was something of a child prodigy—and was certainly a disciplined, adventurous, and ambitious artist already by his early twenties. But the variety, peculiarity, and technical mastery of his work from the 1940s, when he was in his twenties, may strike viewers as a gift from out of the blue.

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