Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II

Lucien Freud • Painting, 2001, 15.2×23.5 cm
About the artwork
This artwork has been added by an Arthive user, if it violates copyright please tell us.
Art form: Painting
Subject and objects: Portrait
Style of art: Naturalism
Technique: Oil
Materials: Canvas
Date of creation: 2001
Size: 15.2×23.5 cm
Artwork in collection: Smart and Beautiful Natalya Kandaurova
Artwork in selections: 18 selections

Description of the artwork «Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II»

Despite the fact that Lucien Freud has gained worldwide fame due to his nude paintings, his numerous portraits are of particular value. However, the artist never painted portraits to order, categorically refusing such proposals. Freud always painted only those people who were interesting to him. An exception, albeit very conditional, is the portrait of Queen Elizabeth II. The artist himself turned to the monarch with a request to depict it in one of his works. Surprisingly, the queen generously agreed.

Elizabeth II patiently posed for Freud for a long 19 months, and the result of their teamwork was this tiny (compared to the rest) portrait, which divided the British into two camps. Representatives of one of them crumbled in praise, calling Freud the most brilliant artist of our time. Others spoke of the picture much less enthusiastically, arguing that the Queen should put Freud in jail for such an ugly portrait. Some media called this work the greatest failure of the artist.

"Ugly" - this, of course, is too strong a word in relation to the portrait of Elizabeth II. Although enough to say that the picture turned out more than in the spirit of Freud. Without being bound to the queen by any obligations, including material ones, he did not embellish, flatter or smooth out sharp corners. The elderly artist had the courage to portray just the same old woman (even the royal tiara was painted by Freud later to still make the portrait's heroine recognizable at first sight), whose face occupies almost the entire area of ​​a very small canvas and seems much more naked than all of its bare sitters together.

Author: Evgenia Sidelnikova