Painter Lucian Freud is dead at the age of 88. His New York-based art dealer shared the news Thursday.

The German-born painter passed due to illness. No more details have been released.

The artist had a noteworthy career, working in Great Britain for over 50 years. He was a champion of Realist painting and known most for his portraits.

He had a unique style that made him one of the great painters of the twentieth century, noted his dealer William R. Acquavella.

Freud became more well known as he got older. One of his paintings, a portrait of a nude woman, fetched $33.6 million at an auction in 2008.

The vitality of [Freud's] nudes, the intensity of the still life paintings and the presence of his portraits of family and friends guarantee Lucian Freud a unique place in the pantheon of late 20th Century art, Tate museum director Nicholas Serota told the BBC.

His early paintings redefined British art and his later works stand comparison with the great figurative painters of any period.

Freud was the grandson of psycho-analyst Sigmund Freud. he was born in Berlin in 1922.