British artist Lucian Freud dies aged 88
British artist Lucian Freud, grandson of the inventor of modern psychoanalysis Sigmund Freud, has died in London aged 88, his lawyer said on Thursday.
"Lucian Freud, artist, born 8 December 1922 in Berlin, died peacefully last night (Wednesday 20 July) at his home in London," Diana Rawstron said in a statement.
The painter was known mostly for his signature nudes and self-portraits such as the powerful 1993 work of Freud as a naked older man waving his brush like a weapon.
In recent years his paintings have sold for astronomical sums. His 1995 Portrait "Benefits Supervisor Sleeping" fetched 33.6 million dollars at a Christie's auction in New York.
His New York gallery, Acquavella Galleries said Freud died after a brief illness at his home in Notting Hill.
"In company he was exciting, humble, warm and witty. He lived to paint and painted until the day he died, far removed from the noise of the art world," added William Acquavella.
Nicholas Serota, director of London's Tate art gallery, paid his tribute.
"The vitality of his nudes, the intensity of the still life paintings and the presence of his portraits of family and friends guarantee Lucian Freud a unique place in the pantheon of late 20th century art," he said.
"His early paintings redefined British art and his later works stand comparison with the great figurative painters of any period."
© 2011 AFP