Lucian Freud

Girl with a White Dog

1950–1

Medium
Oil paint on canvas
Dimensions
Support: 762 x 1016 mm
frame: 954 x 1200 x 92 mm
Collection
Tate
Acquisition
Purchased 1952
Reference
N06039

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.

Gallery label, April 2005

Catalogue entry

N06039 GIRL WITH A WHITE DOG 1950–1
 

Inscr. ‘1950–51’ on back.

Canvas, 30×40 (76×102).
Purchased from the artist (Knapping Fund) 1952.
Exh: Hanover Gallery, May 1952 (2), lent by the Tate Gallery; Venice Biennale, 1954 (British Pavilion, 79).

The sitter was the artist's first wife Kathleen, daughter of Epstein and Kathleen Garman. She appears in many of his early pictures.

Published in:
Mary Chamot, Dennis Farr and Martin Butlin, The Modern British Paintings, Drawings and Sculpture, London 1964, I