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In this still-life painting the texture of a prickly sea urchin contrasts with the soft flesh and oozing ink of a squid. The artist was one of the world's most important portrait painters, known for his thickly applied paint technique. This is an early example of his work where he is experimenting with ways to paint flesh. Here, he used a fine, soft brush, probably sable hair, to apply his paint. Shortly after this, he was advised to use a coarse hog's hair brush by his fellow artist, Francis Bacon, which gave Freud an effect he preferred.

Harris Museum & Art Gallery



Still Life with Squid and Sea Urchin




oil on copper


H 38 x W 30 cm

Accession number

PRSMG : P1402

Acquisition method

gift from the Contemporary Art Society

Work type



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Harris Museum & Art Gallery

Market Square, Preston, Lancashire PR1 2PP England

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