Girl in a Green Dress

1954
Freud, Lucian
Girl in a Green Dress is an exceptional example of Lucian Freud’s meticulously analytic early paintings of single figures, with each freckle, vein and eyelash precisely recorded with a fine sable brush. Caroline Blackwell (1931–96), the subject of this painting, was Freud’s second wife. As he wrote: ‘My work is purely autobiographical. It is about myself and my surroundings. I work from the people that interest me, and that I care about and think about, in rooms that I live in and know, I use the people to invent my pictures with, and I can work more freely when they are there.’ Freud and Blackwell married in 1953 and she sat for him several times during the early 1950s, including for the painting Hotel Bedroom (1954) which shows Freud in the shadows gazing down at Blackwell resting in bed. As with the other portraits of Blackwell, it shows both tenderness and a despondent anxiety. Freud and Blackwell’s marriage was short-lived and they divorced in 1957. Blackwell, a novelist and heiress from the Guinness family, went on to marry the composer Israel Citkovitz and later the American poet Robert Lowell.
  • Artwork Details: 32.5 x 23.6cm
  • Edition:
  • Material description: oil on board
  • Credit line:
  • Theme: Portrait
  • Medium: Painting
  • Accession number: AC 363

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The Arts Council Collection is the UK's most widely seen collection of modern and contemporary art.

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