British painter, Lucian Freud who gained fame for his intense and deeply textural nude paintings died in his London home on Wednesday at the age of 88. Born in 1922 in Berlin, Freud was psychoanalyst Sigmund Freud’s grandson.
New York dealer William Acquavella has portrayed Freud “as one of the great painters of the 20th Century”.
“In company he was exciting, humble, warm and witty. He lived to paint and painted until the day he died, far removed from the noise of the art world,” he added.
Recent auctions have seen his works being highly adored; his portrayal of an overweight nude woman sleeping on a couch was sold in 2008 for 33.6 million dollars – a record for a work by a living artist.
“The vitality of [Freud''s] nudes, the intensity of the still life paintings and the presence of his portraits of family and friends guarantee Lucian Freud a unique place in the pantheon of late 20th Century art,” the BBC quoted Nicholas Serota, director of the Tate gallery.
William Feaver, former Observer art critic who knew Freud for more than 40 years, said Freud “restored portraiture to its proper place”, by focusing on people from all walks of life and not just successful businessmen or their wives.
“He said everything he did was autobiographical and a self portrait. He was a witty, impulsive artist but generous with it,” he added.