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After Chardin freud-after-chardin.jpg_product
After Chardin After Chardin

After Chardin

Item Code: LF-chardin-s
Medium
Etching
Date of Work
2000
Edition Size
12
Signed
Signed
Height (cm)
59
Width (cm)
72
AP 8/12, aside from the edition of 46.

The print is signed in pencil L. L. with love from L. F x (L.L was Louise Liddell.).

The back of the frame is inscribed with the words Given to me, Louise Liddell, Lucian's framer of 20 years, 2000.

‘The Young Schoolmistress’, painted around 1736, is among Chardin’s most elegant constructions of space and light. When Freud was asked in 1987 by the National Gallery to make an ‘Artist’s Eye’ selection of works from its collection, it featured prominently on his shortlist.

When the Gallery approached Freud again in the late ‘90s, asking him to produce a painting in response to their collection, it was ‘The Young Schoolmistress’ to which he turned once more. Freud made two paintings – one larger, one smaller – before committing himself, as he often did with favourite subjects, to a complementary pair of etchings.

Like many of Freud’s etchings after paintings, ‘After Chardin’ was reproduced directly onto the plate in front of the canvas, reversing the original image. He tended to crop his etchings, often uncomfortably close (some plates were even purposely cut down after being etched), which here has the confronting effect of placing us directly in the tableau. ‘In doing so’, writes the curator William Feaver, ‘he moved the heads closer together and accentuated their features, his touch being more robust than Chardin’s…The child became less amenable and the girl, his sister presumably, more bossy.’

Sumptuously printed by master printer Marc Balakjian, the copy illustrated here – owned by (and dedicated to) Freud’s framer of 20 years, Louise Liddell – was just one of twelve proofs produced for the edition.

Lucien Freud portrait

Lucian Michael Freud was a British painter and draftsman, specializing in figurative art, and is known as one of the foremost 20th-century portraitists.

His early career as a painter was influenced by surrealism, but by the early 1950s his often stark and alienated paintings tended towards realism. Freud was an intensely private and guarded man, and his paintings, completed over a 60-year career, are mostly of friends and family. The works are noted for their psychological penetration and often discomforting examination of the relationship between artist and model. Freud worked from life studies, and was known for asking for extended and punishing sittings from his models.
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