Lucian Freud – John Minton

2 min read  ·  15 Aug 2016

Lucian Freud's John Minton (1952): A Limited Edition Facsimile Print Exclusively from HENI Editions.

In John Minton, Freud’s subject is his friend John Minton, a painter and illustrator who taught traditional anatomical drawing and figure painting. Minton suffered from depression and committed suicide five years after this portrait was painted. Painted from a close-up viewpoint, John Minton intrudes on a vulnerable moment of self-reflection and despair.

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John Minton (R1), Lucian Freud, 2016

Avoiding comfortable routines and idealistic approaches to representation, Freud constantly strove to broaden the boundaries of his subject matter. The background of John Minton is grey and flat, and the sitter’s somewhat elongated face, expressive but seemingly regretful, occupies most of the canvas. His large, empty eyes and strained facial features offer a haunting image of restrained despair. Freud lays bare his sitter’s psychology through the expression of the body: the slumped posture, the gaunt face, the eyes that stare out in different directions. Minton’s depressed state is vividly captured in the heavy-toned palette and morbidly sensitive brushwork.