It’s far from the late painter’s most sophisticated work, but that shouldn’t stop this painted egg by Lucian Freud from selling for up to £100,000 when it’s auctioned this month.
The self-portrait was daubed onto the hollowed-out egg 33 years ago when Freud contributed to an Easter-themed exhibition, then was left forgotten in a drawer until his death last year.
Alexander Hayter from Bloomsbury Auctions told told the Times he expects it to become the ‘world’s most expensive hen’s egg’ when it goes under the hammer on 21 June.
The owner of the egg was the curator of the 1979 Easter exhibition who was given it by Freud as a gift along with a note, which she then left in a in a desk drawer.
Freud died in July last year, and this year was the subject of a highly successful solo exhibition at the National Portrait Gallery.
Among his many subjects was, occasionally, himself, painting a series of dark, psychological self-portraits down the years.
The egg self-portraits is his only 3D effort but bears all the hallmarks of a classic, tortured Freud self-reflection.