Shalom Life | July 01, 2014

Jewish Hall of Fame: Lucian Freud

This week’s inductee is the grandson of Sigmund Freud, an influential artist and painter who ushered in the next generation of preeminent British painters

By: Zak Edwards

Published: January 29th, 2014 in Culture » Art » News

Since the dawn of time, or at least since it’s been recorded on paper, Jewish men, women and children have contributed to various industries and fields, from sports to entertainment to politics to porn.

With our Breakthrough Jew feature, we recognize those men and women who are up and comers in these various industries, identifying those great innovators and leaders in the contemporary world who are making a mark on society that will last a lifetime.

But what of those who have already made a significant contribution to the world as we know it? Those Jewish men and women who have greatly influenced the way we live today, but have never received proper accreditation?

Welcome to the Jewish Hall of Fame.

Shalom Life’s newest weekly feature, the Jewish Hall of Fame is a way to recognize the remarkable advancements these members of our community have made on today’s society. These are people who have truly changed the world, and have earned the respect and praise of the members of today’s younger generation, many of whom are unaware that they even exist, let alone that they are Jewish.

As such, Shalom Life’s Jewish Hall of Fame is our ongoing tribute to the greatest Jews who have ever lived; be sure to catch us weekly with our latest inductees, and tweet us @ShalomLife with your suggestions.

Check out last week’s inductee into the Hall of Fame here.


Hall of Fame Member: Lucian Freud

Born: December 8, 1922, Berlin, Germany

Died: July 20, 2011, London, United Kingdom

Famous For: Girl with a White Dog, Benefits Supervisor Sleeping, Naked Man with Rat

When the name Freud is by itself, most people think of the German psychologist who made us all uncomfortable to be around our parents. When coupled with Lucian, however, one of the 20th century’s most important and notorious artists comes to mind, a man whose artistic prowess is matched only by his eccentricities and personal life. A man who called Francis Bacon a friend and founded the next great wave of British painters.

While his name may forever live in the shadow of his grandfather, Lucian Freud is a man whose art continues to capture the minds of people around the world.


Born in Germany to Sigmund Freud’s son, Ernst, Lucian Michael Freud was 11 years old when his family escaped Nazi oppression and immigrated to England. Lucian was educated at Dartington Hall and Bryanston School, the latter of which he was expelled from for disruptive behaviour.

After his expulsion, Lucian attended a number of colleges and universities, including the Central School of Art in London and Cedric Morris’ East Anglian School of Painting and Drawing. After a brief stint as a merchant seaman for which he was invalidated out of service, Freud returned to London to study at Goldsmith’s college.

After travelling Europe and eloping with Guinness heiress Lady Caroline Blackwood in Paris, his second marriage after marrying his mistress’ niece in 1948, Freud returned to London and became a central figure in the School of London group of artists. The School of London was not an official collective, but a grouping of artists who worked and knew each other in London and shared a similar abstract style. Among its members were Francis Bacon, Frank Auerbach, Leon Kossoff, Robert Colquhoun, and Robert MacBryde.

One of Freud’s first major pieces was the illustrations in a book of poems by Nicholas Moore. The Glass Tower was released with a series of drawings, a stuffed zebra, and a palm tree. The work hints at his future dealings with surrealism, a heavy influence in his early work.


The Glass Tower

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