It is hardly surprising that a number of the pictures should seem like old friends. Here is Girl in a Green Dress Freud's early 1953 exploration of isolation. Here, too, are the startling Girl with Roses from the British Council Collection and Reflection (self-portrait) of 1985. But the show also contains some lesser-known works, and it is these, together with its overall succinctness, which are its chief attractions. Several works have been lent by Freud's great patron, the Duke of Devonshire, while others have come from obscure and unaccredited sources. Look out in particular for Box of Apples, in Wales, painted in 1939 at the tender age of 17, and other early pieces. There is also a nice, small study from the Sixties of the photographer John Deakin, himself the subject of a recent exhibition at the National Portrait Gallery. If you thought you knew all about what Freud has to offer, then think again and make the trip to Cumbria. You will not be disappointed.
Abbot Hall Art Gallery, Kendall, Cumbria 01539 722464 until 8 Sept
Left: detail from Lucian Freud's 'Girl Sitting in the Attic Doorway', 1995Reuse content