Freud, Lucian (1922-2011) / Southampton City Art Gallery, Hampshire, UK / Copyright The Lucian Freud Archive / Bridgeman Images

On Display

Lucian Freud (1922-2011)


Freud is primarily known as a portrait painter whose work involves an intense and often unforgiving scrutiny of his subjects. In December 1952 he travelled to Jamaica to stay with James Bond author Ian Fleming and escape the collapse of his first marriage. While Fleming was writing Casino Royale Freud was outside making this meticulous study of a banana plant.

Bananas is acutely observed and painted in precise, naturalistic detail. Freud said that the subject was a welcome release from portraits: "I noticed I switched away from people when my life was under particular strain...Not using people is like taking a deep breath of fresh air". Bananas was first exhibited at the Venice Biennale in 1954 in a joint exhibition with Ben Nicholson and Francis Bacon.

Medium oil on canvas
Date 1952
Dimensions 230mm x 150mm
Acquisition Number SOTAG : 1963/85
Credit Line Bequeathed in 1963 by Arthur Tilden Jeffress