Colin Gleadell has the exclusive in the Telegraph on Sotheby’s unknown Freud Self Portrait with a Black Eye painted in the early 1970s and being offered in the February sales with a £3-4m estimate:
In its catalogue, Sotheby’s suggests a noble pedigree for the work, illustrating it next to van Gogh’s Self-Portrait with Bandaged Ear, and Francis Bacon’s Self-Portrait with Injured Eye. What is surprising is that there were not more black-eyed self-portraits by Freud.
“I used to have a lot of fights,” he has said. “It wasn’t because I like fighting, it was just that people said things to me which I felt the only reply was to hit them, and quite often I wanted to hit people.” Two versions of the painting are visible in the background of one of Freud’s best-known pictures, Two Irishmen in W11, a powerful image of an Irish bookmaker and his son, painted in Freud’s Holland Park studio in 1984-85. However, the bookies are not the sellers, says Sotheby’s, which is protecting the anonymity of its client, who is offering four other works by Freud in the same sale.
The whole set of Freuds is estimated at £4.8 to £6.5m and will be sold on February 10.
Art Sales: Freud’s £4m Black Eye (Telegraph)