Nation acquires Freud archive

Drawings worth £3m accepted in lieu if tax.

Lucian Freud's sketchbooks, drawings and letters have been accepted by the national in lieu of £2.9m in tax .

The archive, which has never been displayed, will be placed at the National Portrait Gallery who will make it accessible to the public. One of the sketchbooks, originally in an 18th century ledger, contains drawings of his former wife Caroline Blackwood  which relate to Freud's  early 1954 masterpiece, Hotel Bedroom.

The archive also includes 162 childhood drawings made by the painter in Germany before his family fled to England in 1933. He died in 2011 aged 89.

"The gallery has a strong association with Lucian Freud by virtue both of its permanent collection holdings and the highly successful 2012 Lucian Freud Portraits exhibition" said Nicholas Cullinan, director of the NPG. "This archive, which will in due course be made available to the public, will be a vital source of reference for anyone interested in the life and work of the artist or in portraiture in general."

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