In the early 1980s, Lucian discovers with amazement that his elder children began their lives of young adults. He offers them the long sittings that create the necessary empathy.
The method of Lucian with his models is in the opposite to Francis who works only with photographs and with his memory. Lucian is a charmer. He literally makes his models glowing by telling stories, singing, sharing extraordinary foods. The word 'glowing' was chosen by Esther Freud to express her feelings during these long hours.
On February 11 in London, Christie's sells the Head of Esther as lot 15 and the Head of Ib as lot 16. Both paintings that can form a pair come from the same "important private European collection" and are estimated £ 2.5M each.
Esther, born in 1963, began the process in 1982-1983 and Ib, born in 1961, took over in 1983-1984. The physical resemblance of the half sisters allowed a similar technique. The image is almost a living sculpture with the flesh of the cheek expressed by a thick colored impasto and the hair combed by the brush of the artist.
The two young women have their head on the pillow which is the most comfortable position during the long viewings by the father. When Esther is on the left and Ib on the right, they face each other. In their attitude of full confidence, Esther opens her eyes and Ib sleeps. The reflection in the eye of Esther strengthens her presence.
I invite you to watch the video shared by Christie's.
RESULTS INCLUDING PREMIUM
Head of Esther : £ 4.8M
Head of Ib : £ 2.55M