Lucian Freud’s Gay Love Letters Up For Auction

For those that are fans of Lucian Freud, he is known for his earthy depictions of the human body, his grandfather, Sigmund Freud, who we all know from our freshman psych class, and his open and flirtatious nature with women. However, letters from the artist to critic and poet Stephen Spender have now been uncovered by his family and have quite an impassioned tone to them. The letters, which also feature some sensual sketches and water color from both men, serve as confirmation for many of Freud’s dabbling in homosexuality. The 70 year old letters will be up for auction at Sotheby’s on July 2nd for an estimated $64,000 combined.

Through the artist’s 88 long years of life, he fathered at least 14 children between six different women, though the virile little minx has been rumored to have up to 40 illegitimate children total. His appreciation of the female form continued well into his age, painting Kate Moss during her pregnancy and even giving her two swallow tattoos on her back. Freud has not been know to shy away from the male anatomy either, with his famed paintings of performance artist Leigh Bowery. The affection for the body is shown is his correspondences with Spender, which are littered with male figures and faces.

Matthew Spender, Stephen Spender’s son, tells the Daily Mail, “From the letters it looks like Dad was in love with Lucian; whether Lucian was in love with Dad is another matter.” Though everything Freud wrote ends in a wink and a nudge, signing off with flirtatious and affectionate diminutives like ‘Lucianus Fruititas’ (juicy fruit). He writes, “Could you have seen that feeble expression of pure joy creeping over my features (and filling my eyes with a dim light) as I recognised your familiar hand!” The letters themselves are magical, showing an intimate and more affectionate side to the wild and womanizing Lucian Freud, whose affections seemed endless, whimsically decorated with splashes of yellow, blue and red.

The letters are a part of Sotheby’s Contemporary Art Day Auction. Register to bid for the pieces here

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