Girl With a White Doggy


All portraits the eyes are really big and open, but are lacking life, giving the impression that the subject is mentally not there whereas physically, the subject’s eyes are looking straight ahead, a good example can be noted in Freud’s work entitled ‘Girl With a White Doggy’. The subject’s mouth is also rather big and throughout most of Freud’s works the subject have their mouths closed, adding to the stillness in nature. Some hint of a sexual connotation is noted as Freud draws in the subject in ‘Girl With a White Doggy’ with one bare breast. The subject clearly marks the breast with her hand. Often one can pay attention to very small obscure details that can lead to the personalities of his subjects. In ‘Girl With a White Doggy’, we notice a very small ring on the woman’s finger. This could lead to her being a wife, or a mother perhaps. After one notices these little details, one can look again at the face and collect more information from the expressions in the subject’s face. In this work’s case, we see the subject may have suffered a loss in her family life, since her still and daydream face gives us the impression that the character is miserable.


One thing that is very important as well in reference to the eyes, the artist makes it a point to show the character deliberately looking at the viewer or having the eyes deliberately hidden. In the work, ‘Strange Bedfellows’ the subject is covering her eyes masking them from the viewer. Going back to ‘Girl With a White Doggy’ we can see clearly the subject is close to staring the viewer right in the eyes. However, Freud still leaves the eyes lifeless, so whether or not the subject is staring at the viewer, he or she knows the subject is somewhere else in his or her mind.


One of Freud’s Self-Portraits, shows however, that Freud may not have had the same approach to painting himself. He did not make an effort to emphasize his eyes, and the painting was not very fleshy in nature. We can also observe that an exaggerated viewpoint is being used in the painter’s work of himself.