The project seems to have provoked a relentless curiosity, as Freud proceeded to etch a range of raw, tonal portraits that rival his textural canvases in expressiveness. Pushing the boundaries of the medium with newfound confidence, Freud utilized massive copper etching plates, upon which he expertly incised and delicately wiped familiar subjects. Discovering a love for printmaking later in life, he was able to reimagine the human and animal figures he first dissected and interpreted with a paintbrush.
Girl holding her foot is one of several large-scale ‘naked portraits’ inspired by the artist’s own paintings. The anonymous sitter, featured in an oil painting completed the same year, was initially depicted propped on a plush sofa in his Notting Hill studio. Suspended in undefined space in this almost surreal print, the woman’s weight and being become the sole focus. The fleshy contours of her body brazenly confront the viewer, inviting questions about the artist-model relationship and challenging conventional standards of beauty and propriety.
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