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Artist Lucian Freud dead at 88

Lucian Freud, a realist painter known best for his nude portraits, has died in London after a brief illness.

Artist lucian freud dead  07 21 11Enlarge
Lucian Freud's 'Self-Portrait with a Black Eye' from 1979 is displayed at Sotheby's on January 27, 2010 in London, England. Lucian Freud died at the age of 88 at his London home, it was reported on July 21, 2011. (Peter Macdiarmid/Getty Images)

British artist Lucian Freud, a painter known for his realist nude portraits, has died in London at the age of 88.

Freud, a grandson of Sigmund Freud, died after a brief illness, his New York-based art dealer said, but gave no further details.

A spokeswoman said Lucian Freud died at his London home late Wednesday night, the Associated Press reports.

Lucian Freud was born in Berlin in 1922 and moved to Britain with his family in 1933 after Hitler came to power in Germany.

He spent almost his entire life based in London, and in recent decades was at the height of his fame, the AP says. Freud painted the model Kate Moss and other prominent subjects, in his distinctive warts-and-all style.

His 2001 portrait of Queen Elizabeth — who, unlike many other subjects, posed clothed — was controversial and divided the critics, according to The New York Times.

In recent years Freud’s paintings had reaped staggering prices at art auctions.

His painting of an overweight nude woman sleeping on a couch sold for $33.6 million in 2008 — a world record for a work by a living artist, the BBC says.

The Telegraph described Freud as “the last great figurative British artist.”

William R. Acquavella, his dealer, said in a statement that he would mourn Freud "as one of the great painters of the twentieth century."

"He lived to paint and painted until the day he died, far removed from the noise of the art world," Acquavella said.

http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/regions/europe/united-kingdom/110721/uk-artist-lucian-freud-dead-sigmund-freud-grandson