Lucian Freud (1922-2011) was born in Berlin in December 1922, and came to England with his family in 1933. He studied briefly at the Central School of Art in London and, to more effect, at Cedric Morris's East Anglian School of Painting and Drawing in Dedham. Following this, he served as a merchant seaman in an Atlantic convoy in 1941. His first solo exhibition, in 1944 at the Lefevre Gallery, featured the now celebrated The Painter's Room 1944. In the summer of 1946, he went to Paris before going on to Greece for several months. Since then he has lived and worked in London.

Freud's subjects are often the people in his life; friends, family, fellow painters, lovers, children. As he has said ‘the subject matter is autobiographical, it's all to do with hope and memory and sensuality and involvement really'. This work “Bella” is a sensitively executed etching of his daughter Bella Freud, the well known fashion designer. 

Freud had several retrospectives including at the Hayward Gallery in 1988 and the Tate in 2002 and the Museo Corner in Venice in 2005. Freud died in London in 2011 and is buried in Highgate Cemetery. In 2008 his portrait of civil servant Sue Tilley sold for $33.6 million, the highest price ever at the time for a work by a living artist. It subsequently sold again at Christie’s, New York, in 2015 for $56.2 million.