The Best Lucian Freud quotes

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Lucian Freud was born in Berlin, Germany, on December 8, 1922. His father was Sigmund Freud, the founder of psychoanalysis, and his mother was Lucie Braude. The family moved to London when Lucian was a child. He studied painting at the Slade School of Fine Art and began exhibiting his work in the late 1940s. Freud is considered one of the most influential painters of the 20th century. His portraits are renowned for their psychological intensity and fidelity to detail.

Discover the best Picture, Painting quotes from Lucian Freud, and much more.


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About Lucian Freud

birth of the author

8 December 1922

death of the author

20 July 2011

education of the author

Dartington Hall School Bryanston School Central School Of Art

college of the author

Alma Mater:
East Anglian School Of Painting And Drawing Goldsmiths’ College


I never think about my style but just try and make the pictures look believable. โ€” Lucian Freud

I could never put anything into a picture that wasn’t actually there in front of me. That would be a pointless lie, a mere bit of artfulness. โ€” Lucian Freud

And, since the model he faithfully copies is not going to be hung up next to the picture, since the picture is going to be there on its own, it is of no interest whether it is an accurate copy of the model. โ€” Lucian Freud

I’ve always wanted to create drama in my pictures, which is why I paint people. It’s people who have brought drama to pictures from the beginning. The simplest human gestures tell stories. โ€” Lucian Freud

i never think about my style but just try and make the pictures look believable Lucian Freud quote

The process of creation becomes necessary to the painter perhaps more than is the picture. The process in fact is habitโ€“forming โ€” Lucian Freud

I think half the point of painting a picture is that you don’t know what will happen… that if painters did know what was going to happen they wouldn’t bother to do it. โ€” Lucian Freud

If all the qualities which a painter took from the model for his picture were really taken, no person could be painted twice. โ€” Lucian Freud

The painter makes real to others his innermost feelings about all that he cares for. A secret becomes known to everyone who views the picture through the intensity with which it is felt. โ€” Lucian Freud

Everything is autobiographical and everything is a portrait. โ€” Lucian Freud

I would wish my portraits to be of the people, not like them. Not having a look of the sitter, being them. โ€” Lucian Freud


What do I ask of a painting? I ask it to astonish, disturb, seduce, convince. โ€” Lucian Freud

I am only interested in painting the actual person, in doing a painting of them, not in using them to some ulterior end of art. For me, to use someone doing something not native to them would be wrong. โ€” Lucian Freud

The paintings that really excite me have an erotic element or side to them irrespective of subject matter. โ€” Lucian Freud

The paintings live because their creator has been passionately attentive to their theme, and his attention has left something for us to look at. It seems a sort of miracle. โ€” Lucian Freud

what do i ask of a painting i ask it to astonish disturb seduce convince Lucian Freud quote

When I’m painting people in clothes I’m always thinking very much of naked people, or animals dressed. โ€” Lucian Freud

When I look at a body it gives me choice of what to put in a painting, what will suit me and what won’t. โ€” Lucian Freud

I use the gallery as if it were a doctor. I come for ideas and helpโ€“to look at situations within painting, rather than paintings. โ€” Lucian Freud

Painting is sometimes like those recipes where you do all manner of elaborate things to a duck, and then end up putting it on one side and only using the skin. โ€” Lucian Freud

It is through observation and perception of atmosphere that he [the artist] can register the feeling that he wishes his painting to give out. โ€” Lucian Freud

Inspiring Phrases From Lucian Freud

As far as I am concerned the paint is the person. I want it to work for me just as flesh does. โ€” Lucian Freud

Redundant Thematics

In Lucian Freud Statements


Now that I know what I want, I don’t have to hold on to it quite so much. โ€” Lucian Freud

An artist should appear in his work no more than God in nature. The man is nothing; the work is everything. โ€” Lucian Freud

I have a timetable, but no routine. โ€” Lucian Freud

The only way I could work properly was by using the absolute maximum of observation and concentration that I could possible muster. โ€” Lucian Freud

now that i know what i want i don t have to hold on to it quite so much Lucian Freud quote

I have a hatred of habit and routine. And what dogs love is just that. They like regular everything, and I don’t have regular anything. I have a timetable, but no routine. โ€” Lucian Freud

Full, saturated colours have an emotional significance I want to avoid. โ€” Lucian Freud

Various Statements From Lucian Freud

My work is purely autobiographical… It is about myself and my surroundings. โ€” Lucian Freud

I want paint to work as flesh. โ€” Lucian Freud

I work from the people that interest me, and that I care about, in rooms that I live in and know. I use the people to invent my pictures, and I can work more freely when they are there. โ€” Lucian Freud

my work is purely autobiographical it is about myself and my surroundings Lucian Freud quote

The longer you look at an object, the more abstract it becomes, and, ironically, the more real. โ€” Lucian Freud

The painter’s obsession with his subject is all that he needs to drive him to work. โ€” Lucian Freud

There is a distinction between fact and truth. Truth has an element of revelation about it. If something is true, it does more than strike one as merely being so. โ€” Lucian Freud

The aura given out by a person or object is as much a part of them as their flesh. โ€” Lucian Freud

LUCIAN FREUD Quotes Take Away

Lucian Freud was an incredibly successful artist, and his quotes about painting are just as insightful as his artwork. If youโ€™re interested in learning more about Freud or art in general, be sure to check out our upcoming courses. We have a variety of classes that can help you learn new techniques and explore different mediums.

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