Lucian Freud and the Animal

Exhibition at the Museum für Gegenwartskunst Siegen

Lucian Freud, Quince on a Blue Table, 1943-44 Sammlung Lambrecht-Schadeberg/Rubenspreisträger der Stadt Siegen, Museum für Gegenwartskunst Siegen © Estate of Lucian Freud/Bridgeman Images

Lucian Freud is considered one of the most influential portrait painters of the 20th century. His overwhelmingly large-format nudes have garnered him the nickname “painter of the flesh”. Lucian Freud received the Rubens Prize from the city of Siegen in 1997. In 2015 the Kunstmuseum Siegen honoured the former prize winner with the exhibition “Lucian Freud and the Animal”, which, for the first time, exclusively featured his portrayals of animals. Portraits of animals played an important role in Freud’s earlier works. Later, as he concentrated more on people, the animals he painted were more inconsequential or served merely as compositional elements or accessories. Nonetheless, his double or even triple portraits of humans and animals are among his best-known works today. Viewing his works in their entirety, it is evident that Lucian Freud redefined and fundamentally modernised the genre of animal portrayals. Many of the works in this comprehensive exhibition of animal portraits were shown for the first time in public. It was also the first exhibition which exclusively highlighted the animal theme in Freud’s works. With this unique angle, the project attracted the professional art-scene as well as the general public.

Artistic director: Ines Rüttinger
Artist: Lucian Freud (GB)


Museum für Gegenwartskunst Siegen

Unteres Schloss 1

57072 Siegen (external link, opens in a new window)