An important archive that is filled with Lucian Freud’s sketchbooks, letters and drawings have been acquired for the nation from the estate of the artist as part of the Acceptance in Lieu Scheme.
This particular archive has been allocated to the National Portrait Gallery, which in 2012 hosted the acclaimed Lucian Freud Portraits exhibition – the Gallery’s most visited ticketed exhibition.
The London based Gallery wants to make the archive of material relating to Freud accessible to the public for the very first time. It is hoped that the Gallery will put a select few representative items from the archive on display in the early summer of 2016.
The National Portrait Gallery has also said that by acquiring the archive it will help to develop its understanding of Freud’s portrait work as well as give extra context to the two works by Freud in the gallery’s collection, a 1963 self-portrait in oils and a charcoal drawing of Lord Goodman form.
This new material will provide an invaluable insight into his working practice and will be a major resource for the study of his work.
Dr Nicholas Cullinan, Director of the National Portrait Gallery, London, said: ‘The National Portrait Gallery is grateful to the executors of Lucian Freud’s estate and Arts Council England’s Acceptance in Lieu Scheme for this very important, extensive and generous gift to the nation. The Gallery has a strong association with Lucian Freud by virtue both of its permanent collection holdings and the highly successful 2012 Lucian Freud Portraits exhibition. This archive, which will in due course be made available to the public, will be a vital source of reference for anyone interested in the life and work of the artist or in portraiture in general.’