The Egyptian Book

Lucian Freud

Freud was drawn to Egyptian sculpture made during the reign of Akhenaten (1353–1336 b.c.), who decreed that the visual arts should move toward naturalism and away from hieratic representation. This etching shows photographs from J. H. Breasted’s Geschichte Aegyptens (History of Egypt, 1936). The two sculpted heads were discovered in the workshop of Thutmose, the pharaoh’s chief sculptor, during an early twentieth-century excavation of Tell el-Amarna. Freud received a copy of the book in 1939 when he was sixteen and newly enrolled in art school. He featured his prized possession, with its worn binding and creased pages, opened to the two sculptures, in numerous works and staged in locations and poses normally occupied by models, such as flat on a bed or upright in an old leather chair.

Artist
Lucian Freud (1922-2011)
Title
The Egyptian Book
Medium
Etching, on T.H.S. Saunders wove paper
Date
1994
Sheet
18 1/4 x 16 3/4 in : 46.3 x 42.5 cm
Plate
11 3/4 x 11 3/4 in : 29.8 by 29.8 cm
Edition
From the edition of 40, signed and numbered by the artist
Printer
Marc Balakjian at Studio Prints, London
Publisher
Matthew Marks Gallery, New York
Exhibited
The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Drawings and Prints: Selections from the Permanent Collection," May 5, 1998–September 14, 1998 (another impression exhibited); The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Drawings and Prints: Selections from the Permanent Collection," June 23, 2015–September 28, 2015 (another impression exhibited)
Literature
Hartley 49
Reference
A17-59
Status
Available for sale, please enquire for price

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