Lucian Michael Freud (December 8, 1922 — July 20, 2011) was a Anglo-German painter. He is regarded as having been one of the greatest painters of the human form. He was born in Berlin in 1922, and moved with his family to England in 1933 to escape from the Nazis. He became a British citizen in 1939. His father, an architect, was the son of Sigmund Freud. During World War II, Freud studied art as well as working as a sailor in the British Merchant Navy. His brother was Clement Freud (1924-2009).
He painted portraits which have been described as being brutally honest; he did not try to make people look good. He often painted them nude, with the faces staring straight ahead. He used thick layers of paint, impasto, using colours of green, grey and purple, which he blended to with pink to suggest skin color. He was popular for a while in the 1960's, but his work was rediscovered in 1987 after an exhibition in the US. In 2008 his painting “Benefits Supervisor Sleeping” was sold for US$33.6 million — the most ever paid for a painting by a living artist. This painting was of a fat nude woman asleep on a couch.
He was made a member of the Order of Merit in 1993. This honour, given by the Queen, is limited to only 24 people who have achieved distinction in the arts, science or other areas.
He died in London after a short illness.