Lucian Freud’s The Painter’s Mother III is a portrait of his mother, Lucie Freud, painted in 1972. The artwork portrays only her head and shoulders against a dark background in oil on canvas, measuring 23.5 x 32.4 cm. As a part of a series of portraits of Lucie Freud by her son, the painting depicts an older woman, giving viewers a glimpse of Lucie Freud’s later years.
Lucian Freud’s family was a middle-class Jewish family with an artistic background, his grandfather being Sigmund Freud. The portrait’s low position of the sitter’s head in the composition is consistent with Freud’s portrait style of creating a sense of vulnerability and exposure in his subjects. He painted his mother in a naturalistic way, emphasizing wrinkles and folds in her skin, which showed her true age and experience.
The painting is currently owned by a private collector and highlights Lucian Freud’s unique style and technique. His portrait work has been recognized as powerful, intimate, and a reflection of his subjects’ character. The Painter’s Mother III is another example of Freud’s ability to capture the essence of his subject and convey it to the viewer.