Spokeswoman Bettina Prentice said that Mr. Freud died after an illness at his London home late Wednesday
night, but didn't give any further details.
Mr. Freud was known for his intense realist portraits, particularly of nudes. In recent years his paintings commanded staggering prices at auction, including one of an overweight nude woman sleeping on a couch that sold in 2008 for $33.6 million.
He stubbornly refused to follow the trends of that world, insisting on using his realist approach even when it was out of favor with critics and collectors. He developed his own unique style, eventually winning recognition as one of the world's greatest painters.
"He certainly is considered one of the most important painters of the 20th and 21st centuries," said Brett Gorvy, deputy chairman of the postwar art department at Christie's auction house in New York.
Queen Elizabeth II
Among his most famous subjects was Queen Elizabeth II, who posed for Mr. Freud fully clothed after extensive negotiations between the palace and the painter. The colorful portrait, which the artist donated to the queen's collection, remains one of the most unusual and controversial depictions of the British monarch.
"It makes her look like one of the royal corgis who has suffered a stroke," said Robin Simon, editor of the British Art Journal.
Other critics said more enthusiastically that the work had broken the staid mold of royal portraiture.
Mr. Freud was the grandson of Sigmund Freud, a leading pioneer of modern psychoanalysis. He was born in Berlin in 1922 and moved to London with his parents Ernst and Lucie Freud in 1933 after Hitler and the Nazis rose to power in Germany.
He was naturalized as a British subject six years later and spent almost his entire working life based in London, where he was often seen at fashionable restaurants, sometimes with beautiful younger women, including the fashion model Kate Moss, whom he painted nude, and other luminaries. Mr. Freud was at the height of his fame in the last decades of his life, when he still continued to paint for long hours at his studio in London's exclusive Holland Park. He was even named one of Britain's best dressed men by the fashion magazine GQ when he was well into his ninth decade.
Artworks in S.F.
His first solo exhibition was at the Lefevre Gallery in 1944 after a brief stint working on a merchant ship during World War II. After the war, Mr. Freud left London for several years to paint primarily in France and Greece. On his return in 1948, he started showing his work regularly at various exhibits and also taught art at several schools. His work can be found in major public collections around the world: The Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco have three of his prints in their Achenbach Collection, and the Fisher Collection which will be part of the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art's holdings has one etching.
Mr. Freud's marriage to Kathleen Garman lasted four years and was dissolved in 1952. His second marriage, to Caroline Blackwood in 1953, ended in 1957.