Lucian Freud, one of contemporary art’s most distinctive and important painters, died in his London home last night, after a brief illness. He was 88. In a career that spanned more than six decades, Freud (the grandson of Sigmund) developed a psychologically rich style of realist portraiture that depicted often-nude subjects as deathly pale, grotesque, and emotionally tortured. He was interested in normal people — often friends and family — not models, and seemed to revel in their folds and flaws. Read more about his fascinating life in William Grimes’s New York Times obituary.