Lucian Freud: A Self Portrait

80 mins.
Directed by David Bickerstaff

This compelling film on Lucian Freud reveals the life and work of a modern master though a unique exhibition of his self-portraits at the Royal Academy of Arts, London.

Freud made self-portraits for the whole of his life, which intersected his controversial private life and reflected his shifting relationship with paint. His intense and unflinching gaze has produced a body of powerful, figurative works that places him in the forefront of great British painting.

The film journeys through this landmark exhibition in which Freud turns his critical eye firmly on himself. In collaboration with the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston, the Royal Academy of Arts’ extraordinary exhibition will display more than 50 paintings, prints and drawings spanning nearly seven decades of Freud’s self-portraiture, brought together for the first time in history. They give a fascinating insight into both his psyche and his development as a painter from his earliest portrait painted in 1939 to the final one executed 64 years later.

Highlighting paintings such as Man with a Feather, Reflection with Two Children (Self-portrait), Hotel Bedroom, Interior with Plant, Reflection Listening and his masterpiece Painter Working Reflection, this film features key interviews with past sitters, friends and leading art experts such as Tim Marlow (Artistic Director, Royal Academy of Arts, London), Martin Gayford (Art Critic and Writer), Catherine Lampert (Art Curator and Writer), William Feaver (Art Curator), and Sebastian Smee (Art Critic).

Notably, the film also includes access to Lucian Freud’s early works and a rare visit to Freud’s painting studio, which remains as it was when he died in 2011.