Lucian Freud (British (born Germany), Berlin 1922–2011 London)
Published by Matthew Marks Gallery at Studio Prints (London)
Printed by Marc Balakjian
Sheet: 16 3/4 x 18 1/2 in. (42.5 x 47 cm)
Plate: 11 3/4 × 11 3/4 in. (29.8 × 29.8 cm)
Purchase, Reba and Dave Williams Gift, 1995
Not on view
Freud was drawn to Egyptian sculpture made during the reign of Akhenaten (1353–1336 b.c.), who decreed that the visual arts should move toward naturalism and away from hieratic representation. This etching shows photographs from J. H. Breasted’s Geschichte Aegyptens (History of Egypt, 1936). The two sculpted heads were discovered in the workshop of Thutmose, the pharaoh’s chief sculptor, during an early twentieth-century excavation of Tell el-Amarna. Freud received a copy of the book in 1939 when he was sixteen and newly enrolled in art school. He featured his prized possession, with its worn binding and creased pages, opened to the two sculptures, in numerous works and staged in locations and poses normally occupied by models, such as flat on a bed or upright in an old leather chair.
Signature: In graphite at lower right: "L.F."
Inscription: In graphite at lower left: "3/40"
The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Drawings and Prints: Selections from the Permanent Collection," May 5, 1998–September 14, 1998.
The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Drawings and Prints: Selections from the Permanent Collection," June 23, 2015–September 28, 2015.