Lucian Freud at the Royal Academy – Self Portraits
A few more weeks to enjoy this exhibition : Lucian Freud Royal Academy
I have to admit that originally I was most disinterested in seeing this. It was only because I was trying my new ‘Academician’s Room’ membership that I thought I’d pass a few minutes taking in Freud.
My disinterest turned out to be most displaced. The event was spell-binding.
Some of the works I was familiar with, most of the others were new to me and my few minutes turned into a good hour and a half.
It all starts with Freud’s early works – drawings of himself in different contexts. Excellent stuff. Rapidly we are then moved on to his later painted self-portraits and here his true mastery of his art steams into place.
The works are arranged almost wholly chronologically and we can clearly see not only his developing style and approach, his maturing psychology so brilliantly captured in his oils, but also of course the relentless and insistent ageing process.
Freud is honest. He doesn’t pull any punches, not only with the depiction of his inner soul, but also his brutal rendering of his physical frailty and as we know, towards the end. We as viewers, if we allow ourselves to, can easily identify with the telling of his story as it is ours too of course.
A reminder of our noble and very physical presence in the here and now, a tribute to the importance of carpe diem – seizing the day and an unwelcome reminder of what is inevitably to come.