Lucian Freud Herbarium
by Giovanni Aloi
This beautifully illustrated and scholarly monograph – Lucian Freud Herbarium – looks at the artist’s work from an entirely different slant. Instead of unflinchingly honest portraits of humans (and indeed dogs) this book reveals what happened when Freud turned his analytical gaze on plants.
Introducing the 50 plates of Freud’s plants, Giovanni Aloi’s essay explains the importance of botanical painting in the history of art and gives cultural context to Freud’s experimentation. Armed with this insight, the artist’s use of foliage in many of his portraits takes on more meaning.
The botanical works included range from early drawings probably done in his teens to etchings of his garden done seven years before his death. In between are some extraordinary and arresting works which reflect myriad influences. From private collections we see his drawing of succulents and a stuffed plover, revealing his early precision of observation. As he developed, his work took on an unsettling and Surreal aspect, which in time evolved into his more recognizable style, taking pleasure in the detail and fleshiness of the organic forms. The results are images of plants as searching and uncompromising as his portraiture.
First edition, 2019
Dimensions: H:31.4cm, W:25.7cm, D:2.3cm
Illustrations: Fully illustrated
ISBN-10 379138533X; ISBN-13 978 3791385334