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Thursday, January 21, 2010


They say you have to suffer for your art. Which might explain why Lucian Freud went straight to the studio when he was punched by an irritated taxi driver - but not for a lie down to recover.
A newly discovered self-portrait of Britain’s most famous – and bankable – living artist is going on sale next month which shows the artist sporting a black eye. Legend has it that the notoriously reclusive painter, widely considered to be Britain’s best living artist, decided to use his run-in with an angry taxi driver to compose an unusual self-portrait rather than wallow over an altercation that left him noticeably worse off than his adversary.
The composition begins just above the artist’s top lip and ends at a tousle of messy brown hair. But it is the angry swelling around Freud’s left eye that makes the portrait so unusual. It is only the third time a self-portrait of Freud, now 87, has become available through an auction and it is expected to fetch between £3m and £4m when Sotheby’s sells it next month.

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