This, dear friends, is a masterpiece.  A masterpiece by an 8-year-old Lucian Freud.  London’s National Portrait Gallery is exhibiting the 1930’s sketchbook work which features a Berlin-based bucolic flower bed, fenced animal enclosures, a much loved horse, apple trees, a farmhouse and country roads.

Notably, the entire page is used with much rural detail and color, as well as a non-conventional use of an arced earth surface or hill (young children often draw the ground in straight lines at the bottom of the page).  Exhibition article is here.  Ah, if only all our mothers had kept our early creations!

The exhibit archive includes about 47 sketchbooks with more than 800 drawings as well as the 162 drawings that Freud made as a boy before his family fled Nazi Germany in 1933.  Experts say Freud was preoccupied with the portrait, and never painted one of a person he didn’t like.  Perhaps we see the start of that journey with the concentrated facial features of the people on the path, even the sun has a face.  More facts:

  1. Freud rarely talked about his art. He almost always refused interviews and, aged 81 he said it had taken him his 49 year career to “know that the main point about painting is paint: that it is all about paint.”
  2. Freud saw every object in the world as possessing a unique character. Even into the sixth decade of his career, he still celebrated the unique history of each material thing he drew and painted. It is his acute sensitivity to the multitudinous variety of ‘being’ that kept him invigorated by his work.

art & agriculture: shauna lee lange.  we’re exploring and expanding the intersections of art, agriculture, agritourism, and agrarian systems.  941/875.5190.


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