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Freud is famous for his supposedly objective images of people, particularly naked women. Here the figure is shown lying awkwardly on a bed, with nothing else visible except the stool. It is as if she is an animal on the dissecting table. This feeling is reinforced by the harsh, artificial lighting.The title suggests that this is a painting of a particular person, setting it apart from anonymous or generalised conventional nudes. But Freud’s inclusion of his tools in the foreground reminds us that we are, in fact, looking at the artificial setting of an artist’s studio.

May 2007