Constable’s early work ‘Portrait of Laura Moubray’ has entered the galleries collection under the UK Government’s “acceptance in lieu” scheme, which allows works of art to be donated from an estate in lieu of death duties.
The painting - now on display in Edinburgh - which was previously owned by Freud, who was born in Germany but spent most of his life in Britain until his death two years ago, is said to be one of only about 50 surviving portraits created by Constable.
Two other Constable works - “The Vedham” and “On The Stour” - are already held by the Scottish galleries organisation.
Officials said it was known that the Scottish National Gallery on The Mound was one of Freud’s favourite galleries.
Director Michael Clark said: “We are absolutely thrilled to receive this charming and intriguing picture. Lucian Freud had a very discerning eye and now our public will also be able to appreciate the qualities Freud found in Constable’s rare and unusual portraits.”