Author(s): Sebastian Smee
British artist Lucian Freud (1922-2011) was widely considered the most important figurative painter of his generation. Master portraitist and specialist in nudes, Freud used impasto to create depth and intensity while restraining his color palate to mostly muted hues. His portraits may be physically unflattering to their subjects, but they are honest, frank, and unapologetic. "I paint people." Freud said. " not because of what they are like, not exactly in spite of what they are like, but how they happen to be."