Compare and Contrast

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Okay, so I haven't done the admitedly ambitious series on Freud that I had planned for the summer, but today I bring you one of the main things I wanted to write about.

As I was reading about Lucian Freud, I came accross his Painter and Model 1987 (upper left). I was stricken by the parallels between the piece and Magritte's Attempting the Impossible, and I can't help but think that it may have been in the back of Freud's mind when he was composing his.

At first glance you can see there are many similarities. Both feature two figures, one male, one female. One painter, one model. But Freud has chosen to reverse roles. In Magritte's the painter himself is shown in his role, but Freud lets the female model stand in for him. Both painters call attention to the lie - but is the lie art or reality? This is never made perfectly clear, but the painter's role as mediator certainly is.

Although Freud is often considered a realist, many pieces like this show how he doesn't fit the realist mold hardly at all. There's certainly a lot more that can be said about the two additionally, but let's not belabor the whole thing and take a moment to enjoy the similarities and differences of the two paintings side by side.


AltheaP said...

I'm confused . . . are you assuming that the naked man in the Freud painting is a self portrait, or do you know that for sure?

tori said...

Nope, just referring to the role of painter.

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