Pregnant and stripped of glitz, Kate Moss by Freud valued at £3.5m

A union of high art and popular culture is set to make up to £3.5m. A portrait by Lucian Freud of the supermodel Kate Moss - almost unidentifiable in the early stages of pregnancy - is to be sold two years after it was completed.

A union of high art and popular culture is set to make up to £3.5m. A portrait by Lucian Freud of the supermodel Kate Moss - almost unidentifiable in the early stages of pregnancy - is to be sold two years after it was completed.

The auction of Naked Portrait 2002 at Christie's in London will give the public the first opportunity to see the almost life-size, full-length reclining portrait. It will be on show before the 9 February saleof post-war and contemporary art.

"Portraits by Lucian Freud are particularly rare at auction and are highly sought after," a spokesman said.

Freud's most famous sitter was the Queen, but he prefers to paint people he knows well. Although he has painted the model Jerry Hall, also pregnant, he is said to dislike professional models. He told William Feaver, his biographer, that models were often too "hardened" to posing. "They've grown another skin because they've been looked at so much," the artist said.

But it appears that this view softened when Freud learnt that Moss had spoken of her desire to pose for him in an interview for Dazed and Confused magazine, then edited by her boyfriend and the father of her child, Jefferson Hack

Freud began the painting in 2001 when the model's stomach was slightly swollen so as to fix it in paint before her appearance changed as the pregnancy developed. She is almost unrecognisable.

Fernando Mignoni, Christie's modern painting expert, said of the work: "Freud's art, almost fanatically devoted to the appearance of reality, makes a stark and intrusive contrast to the glamour of fame."

Freud is striking in the unsentimental depictions of his sitters. These have included his daughters and his lovers, including the journalist Emily Bearn, who was less than half his age.

Naked Portrait 2002 was acquired shortly after it was painted by an unnamed private collector who has now decided to sell. It was reported when the painting was first unveiled that Moss herself was interested in owning the work.

The last Freud to come up for sale was Factory in North London, which made more than £2m in February at Christie's.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooks
ebooksA special investigation by Andy McSmith
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Duty Manager

Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: A Duty Manager is required to join one of the ...

Recruitment Genius: Team Leader

Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: A Team Leader is required to join one of the l...

Recruitment Genius: Chef

Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: A Chef is required to join one of the largest ...

Recruitment Genius: Customer Service Assistant

Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: A Customer Service Assistant is required to jo...

Day In a Page

No postcode? No vote

Floating voters

How living on a houseboat meant I didn't officially 'exist'
Louis Theroux's affable Englishman routine begins to wear thin

By Reason of Insanity

Louis Theroux's affable Englishman routine begins to wear thin
Power dressing is back – but no shoulderpads!

Power dressing is back

But banish all thoughts of Eighties shoulderpads
Spanish stone-age cave paintings 'under threat' after being re-opened to the public

Spanish stone-age cave paintings in Altamira 'under threat'

Caves were re-opened to the public
'I was the bookies’ favourite to be first to leave the Cabinet'

Vince Cable interview

'I was the bookies’ favourite to be first to leave the Cabinet'
Election 2015: How many of the Government's coalition agreement promises have been kept?

Promises, promises

But how many coalition agreement pledges have been kept?
The Gaza fisherman who built his own reef - and was shot dead there by an Israeli gunboat

The death of a Gaza fisherman

He built his own reef, and was fatally shot there by an Israeli gunboat
Saudi Arabia's airstrikes in Yemen are fuelling the Gulf's fire

Saudi airstrikes are fuelling the Gulf's fire

Arab intervention in Yemen risks entrenching Sunni-Shia divide and handing a victory to Isis, says Patrick Cockburn
Zayn Malik's departure from One Direction shows the perils of fame in the age of social media

The only direction Zayn could go

We wince at the anguish of One Direction's fans, but Malik's departure shows the perils of fame in the age of social media
Young Magician of the Year 2015: Meet the schoolgirl from Newcastle who has her heart set on being the competition's first female winner

Spells like teen spirit

A 16-year-old from Newcastle has set her heart on being the first female to win Young Magician of the Year. Jonathan Owen meets her
Jonathan Anderson: If fashion is a cycle, this young man knows just how to ride it

If fashion is a cycle, this young man knows just how to ride it

British designer Jonathan Anderson is putting his stamp on venerable house Loewe
Number plates scheme could provide a licence to offend in the land of the free

Licence to offend in the land of the free

Cash-strapped states have hit on a way of making money out of drivers that may be in collision with the First Amendment, says Rupert Cornwell
From farm to fork: Meet the Cornish fishermen, vegetable-growers and butchers causing a stir in London's top restaurants

From farm to fork in Cornwall

One man is bringing together Cornwall's most accomplished growers, fishermen and butchers with London's best chefs to put the finest, freshest produce on the plates of some of the country’s best restaurants
Robert Parker interview: The world's top wine critic on tasting 10,000 bottles a year, absurd drinking notes and New World wannabes

Robert Parker interview

The world's top wine critic on tasting 10,000 bottles a year, absurd drinking notes and New World wannabes
Don't believe the stereotype - or should you?

Don't believe the stereotype - or should you?

We exaggerate regional traits and turn them into jokes - and those on the receiving end are in on it too, says DJ Taylor