Lucian Freud
Girl with a White Dog 1950–1

Artwork details

Lucian Freud 1922–2011
Girl with a White Dog
Date 1950–1
Medium Oil paint on canvas
Dimensions Support: 762 x 1016 mm
frame: 954 x 1200 x 92 mm
Acquisition Purchased 1952
Not on display

Display caption

This picture shows the artist’s first wife when she was pregnant. The style of the painting has roots in the smooth and linear portraiture of the great nineteenth-century French neoclassical painter, Ingres. This, together with the particular psychological atmosphere of Freud’s early work, led the critic Herbert Read to make his celebrated remark that Freud was ‘the Ingres of Existentialism’.

The sense that Freud gives of human existence as essentially lonely, and spiritually if not physically painful, is something shared by his great contemporaries, Francis Bacon and the sculptor Alberto Giacometti.

April 2005