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The IMMA Collection: Freud Project presents 29 paintings and 8 works on paper in this exhibition. Freud is widely recognised as one of the greatest realist painters of the twentieth century, renowned for his intimate, honest, often visceral portrayal of the human form. He changed the way we see portraiture and the nude in art. The works in this exhibition, mainly dating from 1970 onwards, explore several of the artist’s key themes such as portraiture, self-portraiture, still-life, animals and nature. They include portraits of his family, other artists, an art writer, his art dealer, business people and his doctor. The loans also reflect his friendships and contacts within the racing world, his love of horses and dogs, his interest in the physical and psychological relationships between human and animal sitters, his studio and garden.

IMMA secured a significant five-year loan of 50 works by Lucian Freud in 2016. The exhibitions IMMA Collection Freud Project and The Artist’s Mother: Lucie and Daryll a response by Chantal Joffe, will conclude the Freud Project, this summer will be the final opportunity to view these exceptional paintings.

Related events include a new contemporary music commission, Soul Outsider by Deirdre Gribbin, performed by Crash Ensemble; public online talks include Chantal Joffe in conversation with Katy Hessel, writer and curator, and Christina Kennedy, Head of Collections, IMMA; and The Artist’s Mother Past and Present researched and narrated by poet Annie Freud and arts writer Amah-Rose McKnight-Abrams.


About the Artist

Lucian Freud 1922–2011

Lucian Freud (1922-2011) was one of the greatest realist painters of the 20th century. Renowned for his portrayal of the human form, Freud is best known for his intimate, honest, often visceral portraits. Working only from life Freud’s studio was intensely private and he mainly worked with those he was close to, often asking subjects to sit for hundreds of hours over multiple sittings to better capture the essence of their personality.
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Online Exhibition
The Artist's Mother

Discover our new online exhibition The Artist’s Mother, the latest project in a series of responses as part of the Freud Project. Inspired by Lucian Freud’s paintings of his mother, Lucie, artist Chantal Joffe has portrayed her mother, Daryll, in a series of paintings and pastels.

The exhibition The Artist’s Mother: Lucie and Daryll is the first time IMMA combines both a gallery display in the Freud Centre, alongside a digitally installed exhibition in a new virtual gallery space. In this series of 15 portraits, presented in dialogue with two of Freud’s paintings of his mother, Chantal Joffe provides insights into the unique bond between mother-subject and artist-child.


Music Commission
Soul Outsider

IMMA has commissioned renowned London-based, Northern Irish composer Deirdre Gribbin to write a new piece of contemporary music in response to the Freud Project.

Entitled Soul Outsider Gribbin has focused on Lucian Freud’s female portraits reflecting on relationships between sitter and artist and the inner self laid bare. Her interpretation is spun through an interwoven narrative: ‘Night Painting’, ‘Human Animal’ and ‘Under Eyes’ featuring Crash Ensemble, Ireland’s most respected and internationally recognized new music ensemble. IMMA is grateful to the Arts Council for enabling this work through an Arts Council Commission Fund.