Dan Jacobs, MD, is a Training and Supervising Analyst at BPSI. His remarks below originally appeared in the Winter 2020 issue of the BPSI Library Newsletter, which can be read here.
For those who are interested in but not familiar with the life and work of Lucian Freud, Sigmund’s grandson, this primer is a good place to begin. Clear and concise, it traces Lucian’s development as an artist while providing a compelling picture of his life as a man. Born in 1922, Lucian was the son of Ernst, Freud’s youngest son and fourth child. Lucian was raised in Berlin, the member of a household of privilege and artistry. His father was a well-known architect who socialized with the elite of the city. Lucian, the middle son of three brothers, was, coddled by his mother, Lucie Brasch, after whom he was named. He became an unruly child at an early age. The family left Berlin for London in 1932, where Ernst, once again, was successful. Lucian continued to be a wild child, tossed out of a number of schools as an adolescent. The author notes Lucian’s need to escape confinement (his mother grasp and any woman’s) led to numerous affairs, three marriages, and 5 children, two out of wedlock. Freud often painted those he loved naked, including his daughters. Hoban makes clear the pleasure and discomfort the girls felt in being so closely scrutinized. The author describes how Freud’s art changed from somewhat two dimensional and constricted images to the bold portraits of his later years. An informative, interesting and delightful book.
Editor’s Note: Lucian Freud: The Self-Portraits exhibition at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston opened only for several days in March 1-12, 2020, having to close abruptly due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Click here to see the exhibition slides.
Dan Jacobs, MD, is a BPSI Training and Supervising Analyst, Faculty, and Director of the Hanns Sachs Library and Archives. He is the author of The Distance from Home: A Novel (2019), Grete Bibring: A Culinary Biography (2015), Edward Bibring Photographs the Psychoanalysts of His Time (1932-1938) (editor, 2005), The Supervisory Encounter: A Guide for Teachers of Psychodynamic Psychotherapy and Psychoanalysis (1995), several essays on the works of Tennessee Williams and numerous psychoanalytic articles and book reviews.
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