Blog 4. Art Gallery Visit



GDK701792 by Freud, Lucian (1922-2011); Private Collection; © The Lucian Freud Archive; PERMISSION REQUIRED FOR NON EDITORIAL USAGE,PERMISSION REQUIRED TO LICENSE MORE THAN FIVE IMAGES BY THIS ARTIST IN A SINGLE PUBLICATION; CANNOT BE LICENSED FOR PRINTS OR POSTERS; English, in copyright PLEASE NOTE: This image is protected by artist’s copyright which needs to be cleared by you. If you require assistance in clearing permission we will be pleased to help you. In addition, we work with the owner of the image to clear permission. If you wish to reproduce this image, please inform us so we can clear permission for you.

I thoroughly enjoyed the trip to the Art Gallery this semester, despite the heavy rain! I feel like we didn’t have enough time at each gallery which made me make a mental note to definitely go back by myself one day and really breath in art. I loved discussing with my group and hearing different or similar opinions on artworks. I feel like after the initial shock of Michael calling upon us to say even one tiny comment we fell into comfort and openly expressed our responses to the artworks.

My favourite were the ones we visited at the start of the tour and perhaps just because we spent more time there, but this artwork above stood out as most intriguing to me. It is by a British artist named Lucien Freud, the grandson of Sigmund Freud which is pretty cool – talk about connections. So Michael let us marinate in the artwork for a minute or two and then, of course, chose me to make a comment. In my initial response I thought to myself, this is an uncomfortable situation, this newly married husband and wife facing away from each other, none other than the morning after their wedding. Thoughts jumped around in my brain such as patriarchalism, feminism, social norms and so on… and then Michael asked us about the soul and psychology of the painting. This made me shift to see the true human connection between people, a very raw and real depiction of a married couple. In this thought, I suddenly saw a married couple so comfortable with each other and content in their sleep, symbolic of a true human interaction.

It also seems wrong to not comment on the physical impact this has on the viewer. Although you can not feel it from looking at the image above, in person the viewer (well maybe I speak for myself) is overwhelmed by the size of this man who from the height the artwork is placed, feels as though if either the husband or wife moved an inch he would come crashing down on you. I’m not too sure of the significance of this whether it is meant to show the power of man? to intimidate? to show that despite physical difference both male and female slumber in the same way? I guess this is what is so great AND frustrating about art, and more specifically Modern art, it is all up for interpreation! Overall an artist’s ability to provoke such responces and queeries are the most talented among Modern artists.






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6 Responses to Blog 4. Art Gallery Visit

  1. Greetings Sarah! A wonderful blog post you’ve put up, sharing insight into your own personal interpretations of Lucien Freud’s work. However, playing devil’s advocate, I find myself in disagreement towards your statement of the married couple being “so comfortable”. Most would say that loving couples, comfortable with their partners would sleep in some affectionate way, either by holding one another or making some sort of bodily contact. When observing the couple’s body positioning, the large man lays on his back while his mistress has her back turned towards him. Reading the body language of the couple, it suggests a sense of disconnectedness between them, leading one to question whether the couple is truly a ‘happily married couple’… Just a thought. My only other suggestion would be including the title of this artwork, making it easier to find more information about it online. Overall, please keep up the great work and I look forward to hearing more from you.


  2. Hi Sarah,
    You have created an interesting description of the artwork here and I really like how you have included your initial thoughts before looking beyond the surface of the image. This, I believe, is a very important aspect of viewing art as first reactions can often be wrong or projections of one’s own feelings rather than looking deeper into the artist’s thoughts and ideas. I personally think the significance of this painting is to show the reality of what it is to be human, beyond facades that we project in our day to day lives, I don’t think that Lucian Freud was trying to differentiate the sexes but rather create a unity between the two. Life isn’t a movie and to be in love there isn’t a need to constantly embrace but rather, as you said, feel comfortable enough with one another that you are able to be in a vulnerable position (such as sprawled out and naked) without feeling discomfort. The fact her foot is resting on his thigh and they remain close and in contact also reinforces this idea for me. You definitely made me think about this artwork with your questioning though and your writing is clear, but I would suggest you check how to MLA reference as what you have included in your blog seems to be a bit off from my understanding. Other than that it is a good piece.
    Cheers 🙂


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  4. Katelyn says:

    Hey Sarah! I found this post to be very descriptive and you clearly have studied this work closely to have such expressive thoughts and opinions. I think that the great thing about art is that it can be depicted in any way at all, left completely up to an individuals portrayal. I can definitely agree with your statement on how evoking a response is what can make an artist so great. I suppose the only person who will ever truly know whether the couple are comfortable or distant, loving or lusting, is Lucien Freud himself. My personal opinion is that they are merely asleep, unaware of how they are positioned, a perfect example of human nature. Overall I really enjoyed reading this post and seeing what other people have made from the artwork. Appropriately labelling the artwork is the only tip I can give, as I myself am unsure on what the title of the work is. Looking forward to reading more!


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