Family Matters: Lucian Freud exhibition in his grandfather's Hampstead home

Photograph of Ernst, Clement, Lucian and Stephen Gabriel Freud taken on holiday in Hiddensee, Germany

Ernst Freud with sons Clement, Lucian and Stephen Gabriel taken on holiday in Hiddensee, Germany - Credit: Freud Museum London

Childhood drawings and family holiday snaps are part of an intimate exhibition about Lucian Freud in his grandfather's former home.

Lucian Freud: Family Matters at the Freud Museum marks the centenary of the artist's birth in Berlin.

Running from July 6, the exhibition features paintings, drawings, books, illustrated letters and photographs drawn from the museum's archives, private collections and the painter's family - including items never before seen in public.

Letter and drawing from Lucian Freud to his father Ernst Freud, undated (early 1930s)

Letter and drawing from Lucian Freud to his father Ernst undated (early 1930s) In the letter, Lucian sends birthday wishes and explains the picture of a horse and a goat he has drawn. - Credit: Freud Museum London

It will focus on Lucian Freud's childhood family and friends, including his relationship with grandfather Sigmund and aunt Anna who moved to Maresfield Gardens in 1938 after the Nazis annexed Austria.

Curator and art critic Martin Gayford will explore lesser known aspects of Freud's life including his love of reading and fascination with horses. Artefacts include book covers he designed, his sole surviving sculpture, a painting of a palm tree he gave to Anna in 1944, and a 1937 picture of a three-legged horse.

Lucian's father was Jewish architect Ernst Freud, who brought his family to England in 1933 to escape the rise of the Nazis. During the war, Lucian studied art at Goldsmiths College before serving in the Merchant Navy. Over a six decade career, he became one of the greatest 20th Century British portrait painters, and while the Freud Museum exhibition is among several centenary exhibitions, its intimacy and family connections offer a unique insight into the artist and his work.

Palm Tree by Lucian Freud (1944) Pastel, chalk and ink on paper 

Palm Tree by Lucian Freud (1944) Pastel, chalk and ink on paper - Credit: Freud Museum London

Gayford sat for the artist from 2003-2005, writing about the experience in his book Man with a Blue Scarf. He is currently editing Freud's letters to be published by Thames and Hudson in 2022.

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Freud Museum director Carol Seigel said, “Lucian Freud is as well known today as Sigmund Freud. This timely exhibition brings together grandfather and grandson, in Sigmund Freud’s final home, which Lucian would have visited often. The exhibition looks at Lucian’s work through the perspective of family connections, a subject on which his grandfather had developed radical new thinking. It feels very special to be showing works loaned by Lucian’s family as well as from our own collections.”

Photograph of Clement, Lucian and Stephen Freud, c. 1933

Photograph of Clement, Lucian and Stephen Freud, c. 1933 - Credit: Freud Museum London

Lucian Freud: Family Matters runs June 6 until Jan 29, 2023 at The Freud Museum, 20, Maresfield Gardens, Hampstead.