The first letter signed by Lucian Freud ever to be offered at auction, in which the painter outlines his artistic aims, is to be sold at Bonhams
sale of Books, Maps, Manuscripts and Historical Photographs in London on 19 March. It is estimated at £2,000-3,000.
The letter was written by hand in January 1996 to Katie Wilson a student who, as part of her A Level dissertation, had contacted Freud to ask why he was so fascinated by the human figure. In his reply, Freud, then at the height of his fame, explained, As a human animal I am interested in some of my fellow animals, in their minds and bodies.
Freud added that he never thought about his style but just tried to make his pictures look believable. He also commended Katie Wilson on her choice of A Level subjects of painting and dance describing them, as the best subjects.
A valuer from Bonhams Book Department, Claire Wilkins, said, As a succinct statement of Freuds artistic aims this could hardly be bettered. By 1996 Freud had attained international fame as a modern master a status he never lost - and yet found the time to send a very personal and considered reply to an unknown student.
The letter is mounted in Katie Wilsons 21 page illustrated art-school project.