Who is Lucian Freud?
And how, in a youth-obsessed, disposable trash culture that bounces on Tracey Emin’s bed and consumes Damien Hirst’s sheep, washed down with a pint of pee from Piss Christ, has this aloof and elderly recluse come to command such undisputed eminence? Freud was born in an “interesting” time and place, Berlin in 1922, bearing the name and genes of one of the modern world’s presiding deities. Second son of Sigmund Freud’s architect son Ernst and his wealthy wife, Lucie, Lucian passed his childhood under the lengthening shadow of Nazism – he saw the jeering, menacing Brownshirts as he was escorted to school. Hitler’s advent meant an enforced exit to Britain, where, in 1938, the family was joined by the patriarch, Sigmund. There is a cine film of the old man with young Lucian and his younger brother, Clement, walking in their grandfather’s Hampstead garden. By then, Lucian had blazed a trail through one progressive boarding school (Dartington Hall in Devon) and another less liberal (Bryansto