Blond Girl

Lucian Freud

Executed in 1985, Blond Girl is an exceptionally important etching in Freud's canon as it is his first large-scale nude, printed on a paper size of almost one metre. The work announces Freud's arrival as a fully confident and ambitious etcher, after a long break from working in the medium. The work is duly illustrated with great prominence as the frontispiece of Craig Hartley’s catalogue raisonné of Freud’s etchings. Blond Girl, and other large-scale etchings that immediately followed, is directly related to the oil painting Blond Girl, Night Portrait* of 1980-85.

Whereas printmaking throughout history, especially of engravings and etchings, has been a vehicle for reproductive works made after paintings, in Freud’s work it is anything but. Composed concurrently with the paintings, there are several recorded examples of the etching being finished before any related painting, as is the case with Blond Girl.

There is a copy of this etching in the permanent collection of the Tate Gallery, purchased in 1987.

* Roger Bevan, Freud’s Latest Etchings, Print Quarterly, Vol. III No. 4, December 1986, fig. 222

Lucian Freud (1922-2011)
Blond Girl
35 x 28 ⅜ in (Somerset Satin White) : 89.0 x 72.0 cm
27 ⅛ x 21 5/16 in : 69.0 x 54.2 cm
From the edition of 50, signed and numbered by the artist
Terry Wilson at Palm Tree Studios
James Kirkman (London) and Brooke Alexander (New York), 1986
Bruce Bernard and Derek Birdsall (eds), Lucian Freud, Jonathan Cape, London, 1996, no. 196 (illustrated, another impression), p. 256; Craig Hartley, Lucian Freud: Recent Etchings 1995-1999, Marlborough Graphics, London, 1999, n.p (illustrated, another impression and illus. frontispiece), no. 24; William Feaver, Lucian Freud, Rizzoli, New York, 2007, no. 207, illustrated, another impression, p. 477; Starr Figura, Lucian Freud: The Painter's Etchings, Museum of Modern Art, New York, 2007, pp. 64 (no. 33, illustrated, another impression), 135, 142; PQ 26
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