Girl Holding Her Foot
© The Artist

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Girl Holding Her Foot 1985
Freud created his first etchings in 1946, using a hotel-room sink as an acid bath. However after several more experiments with the medium he felt unsatisfied and abandoned it until the 1980s. In 1982 he made several small prints of portrait heads for inclusion in a book. This work is one of a number of prints created in 1985, whose large size shows Freud’s interest in the possibilities of the medium, and his confidence as a printmaker. In this print, Freud has captured the weight of the sitter’s body, just as he does in his paintings. It relates to a painting of the same name, but the artist has chosen to remove the studio setting in the print.

Glossary Open


A form of printmaking in which a metal plate is covered with a substance called a 'ground', usually wax, into which an image is drawn with a needle. Acid is applied, eroding the areas of the plate exposed but not the areas covered by wax. The action of the acid creates lines in the metal plate that hold the ink from which a print is made when the plate is pressed against paper under pressure.

Medium/ media

The material from which an artwork is made, e.g. oil paint, bronze, paper. 'Medium' is also used for the liquid element of paint in which a colouring agent is carried. 'Mixed media' is used when an artist combines several different materials in an artwork.


An image pressed or stamped onto paper or fabric. This encompasses a wide variety of techniques, usually produced in multiples, although one-off prints, known as monoprints, are also included. The term is also applied to photographic images.

Etching, Medium/ media, Print


  • Acc. No. GMA 3880
  • Medium Etching on paper
  • Size 69.00 x 54.00 cm (paper 89.00 x 72.00 cm)
  • Credit Purchased with aid from the Patrons of the National Galleries of Scotland, 1995