“Benefits Supervisor Sleeping” – Lucian Freud

by richibi


                            “Benefits Supervisor Sleeping” (1995)

                                               Lucian Freud  

nudes go back of course to Eden, female nudes to Eve,
but only after genitalia had long given way to fig leaves, 
during the somber and endless Middle Ages,
after the fall of the more licentious Rome, 
did they flourish unadorned again
men have had to wait much longer to be faithfully depicted,
we’re still under the sway, it would seem, of original sin 
paintings which have made historical inroads,
often accompanied by scandal, much indeed as was this one,
though here the shock was arguably less prurient than financial,  
The Toilet of Venus” for instance of Diego Velázquez
or Olympia” of Édouard Manet,
are obvious progenitors 
but see especially Egon Schiele in this case for matching townscapes
though most similarly subversive are their unexpurgated, indeed, males 
Lucian Freud‘s Benefits Supervisor Sleeping incidentally
sold at auction for $33.6 million, in May 2008  
what would Saint Augustine have had to say about that 
watch what Sue Tilly, the sitter, said
psst: “In Farrell v. Burke … the following exchange from the testimony
          of a police officer who had charged a convicted sex offender for
          violating the terms of his probation by possessing obscene materials:
         ‘MR. NATHANSON: Are you saying, for example, that that condition of
          parole would prohibit Mr. Farrell from possessing, say, Playboy magazine?
          P.O. BURKE: Yes.
          MR. NATHANSON: Are you saying that that condition of parole would

          prohibit Mr. Farrell from possessing a photograph of Michelangelo[’s]
          P.O. BURKE: What is that?
          MR. NATHANSON: Are you familiar with that sculpture?
          P.O. BURKE: No. 
          MR. NATHANSON: If I tell you it’s a large sculpture of a nude youth with his 

          genitals exposed and visible, does that help to refresh your memory of what
          that is? 
          P.O. BURKE: If he possessed that, yes, he would be locked up for that.” 
                               from the New Yorker (“Number Nine” by Lauren Collins),

                                                                               January 11,2010