Reflection (Self Portrait) is a significant work by Lucian Freud, considered one of the greatest realist painters of the 20th century. The painting belongs to a series of self-portraits created by Freud throughout his career, executed in his later years when he was in his sixties. The artwork is characterized by Freud’s meticulous observation and self-scrutiny, where he turns his artistic vision upon himself. He employs distortion, illusion, and reflection to suggest that his true self always eludes capture.
Freud’s self-portraits were a continuous exploration of the relationship between the artist and his subject. Reflecting on himself throughout his life, he used his self-portraits to observe and analyze the process of introspection. The paintings are not psychological self-analyses, but rather an examination of the act of observing oneself. In Reflection (Self Portrait), Freud engages in an intense study of himself, employing harsh color contrasts and attention to unattractive detail that defines his unconventional style.
Overall, Reflection (Self Portrait) is an essential contribution to Freud’s oeuvre and is an example of his extraordinary ability to convey a sense of humanity and vulnerability in his work. By scrutinizing himself with such intensity, Freud creates a self-portrait that speaks to the universal experience of self-reflection and self-examination.