Dead Cock's Head

1951

Freud, Lucian
The subject matter of Freud's paintings was always autobiographical and referred to the events and people in his life. In the 1940s and '50s he made several working visits to Dublin, where he found the rawness of the city very stimulating. 'Dead Cock's Head', an early example of Freud's work, is the result of artist's fascination with the butchers' displays of unwashed meat. The painting’s emotional tension is articulated by the bird's dramatically cropped head, while the abstract quality of the feathers on its neck can also be found in Freud's other figurative works. Lucian Freud, the grandson of the pioneer of psychoanalysis Sigmund Freud, was born in Berlin, in 1922. He came to England with his family in 1933 and studied at the Central School of Art, London, at Cedric Morris's East Anglian School of Painting and Drawing, Dedham, and at Goldsmiths' College, London. He started working as a full-time artist after being invalided out of the merchant navy in 1942 and had his first solo exhibition at the Lefevre Gallery, London in 1944. Freud travelled to Paris and Greece in mid-1940s, before settling down permanently in London. His first retrospective exhibition, organised by the Arts Council of Great Britain, was held in 1974 at the Hayward Gallery, London. Monika McConnell
  • Artwork Details: 20.3 x 12.7cm
  • Edition:
  • Material description: oil on canvas
  • Credit line: © the artist
  • Theme: Still Life
  • Medium: Painting
  • Accession number: AC 243

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