The Easel

Lucian Freud: The Pitiless Eye

A small London exhibition shows the essence of Britain’s “greatest, strangest modern portraitist”. Freud had an almost eery view of the portrait – “the paint is the person. I want it to work for me just as flesh does”. For the writer, this gave Freud a “rather uncomfortable, even frightening power. For his sitters, vanity was out of place, affectation was punished; there is something rough, and dangerous about his work.”