Reflections

MUSEO THYSSEN-BORNEMISZA, MADRID

Reflection With Two Children (self-portrait): 1965

Lucian Freud's first one-man show was in London, in November 1944. He was not yet 22, his clients were mainly family and friends, and his pseudo-surrealistic The Painter's Room was sold for the top price — 50. It features a red-and-white striped zebra head, a worn couch, a top hat, a red scarf and a scraggly palm tree. This is a painting of actual objects in Freud's studio, and the zebra's colors in reality were taxidermically correct. Though the fanciful picture seems far removed from the large-as-life nudes that characterize his later work, it is very much a part of Freud's...

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