Evening at the museum

To further my cultural eduction in all fields (and to use my season ticket at the KHM more often) my friend Tici and I went to see the Lucian Freud exhibition.

As the grand-son of Sigmund Freud who had to leave Austria in 1938 he refused to show his paintings in Austria until shortly before his death. What made him change his mind I don’t know but the curator did a great job in assembling the paintings.

The exhibition started with his earliest paintings which were still done with sable brushes. The difference to his later works done with hogs-hair brushes was astonishing. The thick, bristle brush gave the paintings a crude but more life-like effect. Here is my favorite one from the beginning of his mature years.

I think the painting is called “The pregnant woman” and that explains why she looks so illuminated from within. But it’s her lush and perky breasts that bestow upon the viewer the impression of pregnancy. One doesn’t even have to read the name of the painting to know what one is seeing. The beauty lies within its subtlety.


There was also a painting shown that he did after an old painting from 1770s or so. This was an art challenge or something from a museum. I really don’t remember any more and I don’t want to look it up. But I remember that he said about the original that one can see here the most beautiful ear in a painting. When you compare it to what he came up with, I don’t see the beauty anymore.


So this was a bit disappointing but his self-portraits and his nude studies more than made up for it.



We sat down in front of his last portrait, the one he didn’t have the time to finish and talked about the non beauty of the fat lady. She definitely has a rubenesque quality but the mountains of flesh are just disgusting in a way. But when you compare it with the painting of the skinny woman right next her, I tend to find the fat lady way more appealing. I also think the poses of the fat lady show that she feels good in her skin. In the end what is the point of striving to lose weight? None whatever.
So we decided to go for dinner. Yours, Pollybert


  1. Pingback: Treasures at the museum | living at the fullest

  2. Patricia Sylvia Bukovacz

    I totally disliked the exhibition. Not that I hated Freud’s paintings – I just think he was not sophisticated enough to be displayed at the KHM – being “admitted” there is like the crowning of one’s oeuvre – and especially the “ear” comparison was striking. I don’t think he was trained well enough (or maybe lack of talent?). Don’t get me wrong: he has his merits and I quite like the Fat Lady-it has a very sensual atmosphere – but Freud is not for the “Olympos Tempel” of eternal art works, rather for Essl or Muqua…I see his famous grandfather’s name as door opener.

    • I think he fits very well in the KHM, uniting the old and new. He might even fit in the permanent collection but is probably to young for it.

      • Patricia Sylvia Bukovacz

        no way-not even Klimt is there (as far as I know…)! By the way, professional art critics say he did not create anything new, he is not ‘unconventional’ enough for a modern painter…

Let me know what you think

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.