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Freud prints to go under the hammer

  • Date: 5 January 2012
  • Area: National
Man hangs small portrait of woman

Several works by Lucian Freud will be sold at auction next month. Credit: PA

In what is thought to be the most complete collection of his works to ever go under the hammer, some 45 of Lucian Freud's prints will be sold by Christie's on 15 February.

The etchings, each worth tens of thousands of pounds, are owned by Freud's printer Magar Balakjian. One such piece is an image of sitter Sue Tilley. An oil portrait of her was sold for a world record £20.6 million in 2008. Other items going up for auction include images of his daughter Bella.

Woman Sleeping, a nude portrait of Ms Tilley, is expected to be sold for between £30,000 and £50,000, while Bella In Her Pluto T-Shirt, a print of his daughter, is expected to fetch a similar amount.

Freud and north London-based Balakjian worked together for the best part of 25 years, during which time Freud meticulously studied the printing process to ensure optimum results.

One of the biggest exhibitions of Freud's work, around 100 paintings, will go on display at the National Portrait Gallery next month. Lucian Freud Portraits opens 9 February.