'Painter Working, Reflection' 1993
Painter Working, Reflection is Freud’s only full figure naked self portrait. Created at the height of his career in his 70’s, he meets his image with ruthless honesty. His self-observations are never narcissistic, instead, they are always obsessive.
Producing a full-length portrait of himself in his birthday suit was one of the boldest projects of his career: He stood naked and painted in the top-floor London studio where he had spent the majority of his time.
There is something triumphant about the pose, brush upraised like a victorious general’s baton, but the painter assesses himself carefully. His body, though still lithe and muscular, shows the signs of passing time.
Right before the painting was unveiled, he told an interviewer “I felt very uneasy doing it. I thought, after putting so many other people through it, I ought to subject myself to the same treatment.”