Lucian Freud, who died in London on July 20, saw his paintings as largely autobiographical—they spoke for themselves. He also claimed that there was another reason for not writing about his life—“it was still going on”. It is now almost twenty-five years since Robert Hughes described Lucian Freud as “the greatest living realist painter”, a view that has spread and endured. With his death goes half that claim, but with it comes a chance to look at his prolific life and prodigious work. The second son of the second son of the legendary Sigmund, Lucian was born in Berlin in…

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