Cedric Morris was fifty-two when he painted this portrait of his nineteen–year–old student, Lucian Freud. Freud enrolled at the art school Morris had founded with Arthur Lett Haines in 1939. Morris later wrote of him ‘I have always admired his paintings and everything about him .’
The intense scrutiny with which Morris has painted Freud is typical of his portraits. This approach would later become fundamental to the work of his former pupil.