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After the first successful lecture by Martin Gayford in the new Lucian Freud Lecture Series IMMA presents the second lecture in the series – What is a Portrait? Lucian Freud & Art History by Dr Yvonne Scott.

Everyone is familiar with the idea of a portrait, but the concept becomes elusive when you attempt to define it. Is it about a recognisable likeness of a person or psychological penetration? Is a portrait ultimately revealing or diversionary? Does it say as much about the artist as the sitter? What clues can one read from the way the subject is depicted? This lecture questions the meaning of portraiture and its role in art history, preliminary to exploring the revelations of Lucian Freud.

Dr Yvonne Scott is Associate Professor in History of Art, and Director of TRIARC, the Irish Art Research Centre, at Trinity College Dublin.

To celebrate the first anniversary of the ‘IMMA Collection: Freud Project’, IMMA is delighted to present a Lucian Freud Lecture Series in collaboration with The Irish Art Research Centre, Trinity College, Dublin (TRIARC) Trinity College Dublin. IMMA and TRIARC invite leading artists, critics and cultural researchers to offer new perspectives on Freud’s work from October 2017 to April 2018, concluding with a major symposium in April 2018.

Keynote events rotate on a monthly basis between venues at IMMA and TCD, concluding with a major symposium in April 2018. Each session introduces a distinct topic on this seminal artist’s work. Upcoming speakers include; Angela Griffith (TRIARC TCD), Isabelle Graw (Städelschule, Frankfurt), Noreen Giffney (Ulster University), Christina Kennedy (IMMA), Nathan O’ Donnell (Paper Visual Art-PVA), Daphne Wright (Artist) and others.


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. — View Artist »

Additional Information

IMMA Collection: Freud Project 2016 – 2021

IMMA secured a significant five-year loan of 50 works by one of the greatest realist painters of the 20th century, Lucian Freud (1922-2011). 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.

The Irish Art Research Centre, Trinity College Dublin, (TRIARC)

TRIARC was established in 2003 in response to the growing interest in Irish art at home and abroad. Since then, the centre provides postgraduate teaching and supervision and it supports new research and publications. The establishment of the centre was facilitated by the generous support of benefactors, enabling the appointment of dedicated staff, and the restoration of the Provost’s House Stables to provide facilities for education and research, including a visual archive and dedicated library on all aspects of Irish art, architecture and design.


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IMMA Talks Yvonne Scott / What is a Portrait? Lucian Freud and Art History Soundcloud