Lucian Freud's black eye self-portrait expected to fetch up to 4 million pounds at Sotheby's

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Among other things Lucian Freud is a reformed brawler, a quintessential Londoner, a recluse, a workaholic, a survivor and the greatest portrait painter of his generation.

All of which makes this newly rediscovered Self-Portrait with a Black Eye something of an emblematic work: a breathtaking painting, made straight after a fight with a London taxi driver and then kept secret from the world for 30 years.

With an estimated value of £3million to £4million it is the most intriguing of a group of five works by the artist from a private European collection offered for sale at Sotheby’s evening sale of contemporary art on February 10.

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