Lucian Freud's portrait of the Queen will go on display at exhibition

Lucian Freud’s controversial portrait of the Queen that was accused of giving Her Majesty a ‘rugby forward’s neck’ will go on display at special exhibition

  • Lucian Freud’s controversial portrait of the Queen is to feature in exhibition 
  • Oil portrait is being lent to National Gallery by Her Majesty for event next year
  • When unveiled in 2001, critics accused Freud of giving Queen a rugby thick neck

Lucian Freud’s controversial portrait of the Queen is to feature in a major exhibition marking the artist’s centenary.

The oil portrait, part of the Royal Collection is being lent to the National Gallery by Her Majesty for the event next year, it was announced yesterday.

When it was unveiled, some critics accused Freud of giving the Queen a rugby forward’s thick neck and ‘five o’clock shadow’.

Controversial: Lucian Freud’s controversial oil portrait of the Queen (pictured) is to feature in a major exhibition marking the artist’s centenary

It will be one of more than 60 loans from museums and private collections around the world for Lucian Freud: New Perspectives, the first major exhibition of his paintings for ten years. 

Bringing together a large selection of his most important works, including Girl With Roses from the 1940s and his later large nude portraits, it will examine how the British artist changed over seven decades.

Freud, grandson of the psychoanalyst Sigmund Freud, was born in Berlin in 1922.

When it was unveiled, some critics accused Freud (pictured in 2001) of giving the Queen a rugby forward’s thick neck and ‘five o’clock shadow’ 

The oil portrait, part of the Royal Collection, is being lent to the National Gallery (pictured) by Her Majesty for the event next year, it was announced yesterday

His family fled the Nazis in 1933. He died in London in 2011 aged 88, leaving an estate worth £96million. The exhibition is due to run from October 1 next year until January 22, 2023.

The Queen’s own view of Freud’s portrait of her is not known.

But according to the second and final volume of William Feaver’s biography of Freud, published last year, she told Freud: ‘I’ve very much enjoyed watching you mix your colours.’

Bringing together a large selection of his most important works, including Girl With Roses from the 1940s and his later large nude portraits, the exhibition will examine how the British artist changed over seven decades. Pictured: Girl With Roses (1948)

Yesterday Daniel F. Herrmann, the exhibition’s curator, said: ‘With an unflinching eye and an uncompromising commitment to his work, Freud created figurative masterpieces that continue to inspire contemporary artists today.

‘His practice has often been overshadowed by biography and celebrity.

‘In this exhibition we offer new perspectives on the artist’s work looking closely at Freud’s mastery of painting itself and the contexts in which it developed.’

It will not be the first time Freud’s portrait of the Queen has been on public display.

It was displayed as part of an exhibition of portraits of the Queen at the National Portrait Gallery in 2007.   

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