Artist Lucian Freud, best known for his nude, fleshy portraits that broke auction house records, died at the age of 88, his publicist said Thursday.
The German-born, British painter died of illness in his London home Wednesday night, his dealer, William R. Acquavella, said in a statement.
“My family and I mourn Lucian Freud not only as one of the great painters of the twentieth century but also as a very dear friend. As the foremost figurative artist of his generation he imbued both portraiture and landscape with profound insight, drama and energy. 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," said Acquavella, owner of Acquavella Galleries in New York.
The grandson of psychoanalysis pioneer Sigmund Freud, Freud was widely regarded as the greatest British realist painter of his time. He often used friends, family and acquaintances as subjects.
"I paint people... not because of what they are like, not exactly in spite of what they are like, but how they happen to be," he said, according to Tate Britain's website.
His 1995 life-size painting – "Benefits Supervisor Sleeping" – fetched $33.6 million during bidding at Christie's auction house in New York in 2008, setting a new world record at the time. The previous record was for "Hanging Heart," a painting by Jeff Koons that sold for $23.5 million, said Rik Pike, a spokesman for Christie's.FULL STORY