etching on wove paper
image: 45,4 x 38,1 cm / sheet: 66,7 × 57,8 cm (image: 17 7/8 x 15 in. / sheet: 26 1/4 x 22 3/4 in.)
signed with monogram lower right, numbered lower left '45/46' edition of 46 + 12 A.P.
Freud commenced with his studies of the human figure in the late 1950s, and thus at a time in which figurative painting had lost its significance, when Abstract Expressionism, the European Art informel and incipient Pop Art dominated the art world. Starting with portraits and semi-nudes, these were supplemented as of the 1960s by complete nudes. The intensive artistic examination of the human body in all its facets remained at the core of Freud’s art until his death in 2011. Freud’s models, who he always portrayed in the seclusion of his studio, were mainly friends, relatives, people from his closer circle, or even himself. The approach to his models was very personal and the sessions were extremely long.
The “Donegal Man” represented in the etching is the Irish entrepreneur Pat Doherty, to whom Freud dedicated two oil paintings and this etching. The first painting was created over the course of 100 sessions, the second required 85 and the third sketch for the etching 35 - each of these sittings lasted a good three hours. The result is a typical Freudian character study, which also reveals its painterly qualities as an etching.