The sitter for this early portrait by Lucian Freud is his first wife, Kitty, whom he married in 1947. Kitty was used to sitting patiently for her portrait, since she was the eldest daughter of Kathleen Garman and Jacob Epstein. Several portraits of her by her father are represented in the Garman-Ryan Collection. She possessed the wide-eyed, almost feline features which captivated the artist at the time, and became his frequent model.
The profile portrait emphasises Freud’s objective approach to portraiture, in which the sitter is scrutinised by both artist and viewer in a cold light against a characteristically bare background. The detail of hair and surface is typical of the meticulous style of his early portraits, and the peeling paint of the shutters reveals his intention to depict the world with all its imperfections, bereft of symbolism or flattery.
Where to see this painting?
The New Art Gallery Walsall
Gallery Square, Walsall, Staffordshire, England, WS2 8LG
If you are planning a visit to see this painting, check with the collection first. Paintings can be moved at short notice.
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