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Lucian Freud grows up

Finding unexpected tenderness in Freud's latest work

By Roger Kimball   June 2000

I have never been a fan of Lucian Freud’s painting. On the contrary, I have always found something distinctly repulsive about it.

I know that this is a minority view. Since emerging on the art scene in the mid-1940s, Freud has had an enthusiastic claque. Over the last 20 years, in particular, critics have fallen over themselves to praise his work. In 1982, Lawrence Gowing wrote an admiring monograph-thus certifying Freud’s reputation among the cognoscenti-and, more recently, Robert Hughes expatiated at length about Freud’s “Old Master” touch. The names of Vel?zquez and Rembrandt are regularly cited as precedents. With Freud,…

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