LONDON, UK.- A new self-portrait by Lucian Freud, one of the world's greatest living figurative artists, will go on display for the first time at the National Portrait Gallery on Wednesday 13 April. Entitled The Painter Surprised by a Naked Admirer, 2005, the painting (54x42ins) shows Freud in his studio pausing while painting as a woman clutches his leg.
While the unveiling of any of his new paintings is now an international event, Lucian Freud says "I like my work to be seen by Londoners".
The painting, which will be displayed for just over three weeks, also launches the National Portrait Gallery's SELF PORTRAIT Renaissance to Contemporary (20 October 2005 - 29 January 2006). This major exhibition will include an earlier self-portrait by Lucian Freud from 1967 to be exhibited alongside self-portraits by the world's outstanding painters from the early fifteenth century to the end of the twentieth. With sixty self-portraits in oil painting, the exhibition will mix both familiar faces and more surprising choices. Major works by artists renowned for their self-portraits such as Rembrandt, Reynolds, Velazquez, Van Gogh, Kahlo, Bonnard, Bacon and Hamilton will be seen alongside revelatory works by lesser-known artists such as Johannes Gumpp, Hans Thoma and Sabine Lepsius, whose self-portraits are of exceptional quality and interest. The exhibition is linked to a three-part Channel Four series by Matt Collings being broadcast in September 2005.