‘Pay As You Wish’ Scheme Launches at London’s National Gallery

Art lovers who visit the National Gallery from October 1st will be able to pay “as much or as little as they like” on Friday evenings to experience a new Lucian Freud exhibition.

The Pay As You Wish scheme was announced in response to the cost-of-living crisis, the gallery said. It will be the first time such a scheme has been put in place at the National Gallery and it will be valid for slots between 5.3pm and 9.00pm on Fridays from October 1.

Tickets for the Credit Suisse – Lucian Freud: New Perspectives exhibition can either be booked online on the phone or in person, with a minimum payment of £1 required.

Dr Gabriele Finaldi, director of the National Gallery, London, said: “The cost of an exhibition ticket can sometimes make it difficult to visit.

“While most of our temporary exhibitions are free, the Pay What You Wish scheme will enable practically anyone who wants to see the Freud centenary show to do so.”

The Lucian Freud: New Perspectives exhibition includes the portrait by the artist of the late Queen Elizabeth II, with his oil portrait completed after Her Majesty sat for him between May 2000 and December 2001.

The exhibits include paintings spanning seven decades, with loans from museums and major private collections around the world. Some of the key pieces of the show are Girl With A White Dog, Naked Girl Asleep and Reflection, which is a self-portrait, along with a number of his paintings of nudes, for which he was best known.

Lucien Freud was the grandson of psychoanalyst Sigmund Freud and was born in Berlin in 1922. This new exhibition of his work staged at the National Gallery marks the centenary of his birth.

Freud was noticed for his talent early on in his life and, after a spell in the Merchant Navy in 1942, had his first one-man show in 1944 when he was just 21. He died in 2011, aged 88.

The exhibition will “present new perspectives on Freud’s art, focusing on his tireless and ever-searching commitment to the medium of painting”, the gallery said.

Lucian Freud: New Perspectives will run at the National Gallery from October 1 2022 through to 22 January 2023, and tickets can be booked here.