For the first time in Austria’s history, an exhibition displaying the work of Lucian Freud has opened at Vienna’s Kunsthitorisches Museum. The artist had previously refused to permit Austria to display his paintings after his grandfather, the renowned founder of psychoanalysis Sigmund Freud, was forced to leave his home of Vienna in order to evade Nazi capture. The exhibition marks a first for the city and a once in a lifetime experience for European river cruise visitors who regularly come to Vienna.
The exhibition in question features work that was selected through a close involvement with the artist who revised his wish not to allow Austria to hold his work shortly before his death in 2011. With works covering the span of Freud’s career and a number of his most important pieces from a period that covers nearly 70 years on display, the exhibition’s intent is said to be to represent the artist’s lifelong interest in historical art and sculpture, dating back to Egyptian antiquity.
The staging of this exhibition in Vienna is thought to be no coincidence, as it works to celebrate not only the life of the prominent painter and fulfil one of his last wishes but also to commemorate the lives of Vienna’s great thinkers and ambassadors - most significantly, Sigmund Freud himself.
Alongside this special exhibition that is set to run until 6th January next year, Vienna will also host an exhibition of photographs produced by Freud’s long time assistant, David Dawson, entitled “Lucian Freud: In Private” at the Sigmund Freud Museum; you can watch a unique video of Freud produced by Dawson here.
Image Credit: philip_sheldrake (flickr.com)