After Chardin

Lucian Freud

By the end of the 20th Century Freud, of course, belonged to a small and privileged group of artists and academics who had earned standing permission to visit the National Gallery at any time of the day or night of their choosing. He took full advantage of this opportunity, painting a version of Chardin’s The Young Schoolmistress and producing two etchings of the subject during many months of long sessions that stretched late into the night whilst he had the noble rooms to himself. Inspired to recreate Chardin’s work, Freud was attracted by the tenderness in the face of the young schoolmistress in teaching the attentive young boy. The large plate After Chardin of 2000 concentrates more tightly upon the two figures than does the original painting, and the subject of course is reversed due to the printing process. In this work, perhaps more than most, is the proof that the linear heritage of Freud’s drawing and printmaking style has been replaced by a technique that is by now very close to his methodology of painting. The smaller companion work After Chardin (small plate) is an indulgence, an exercise in personal enjoyment in concentrating solely upon the caring gaze of the schoolmistress that so engaged him and drew him to the work of the 18thC French painter in the first place.

Lucian Freud (1922-2011)
After Chardin (small plate)
Etching on Somerset White paper
15 x 20 ¼ in : 38.0 x 51.1 cm
Framed Size
18 x 23 in: 45.5 x 58.5 cm
From the edition of 80, signed and numbered by the artist
Marc Balakjian at Studio Prints, London
Matthew Marks Gallery, New York
Available for sale, please enquire for price

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