/ / / / Man with a Blue Scarf: on sitting for a painting by Lucien Freud

Man with a Blue Scarf: on sitting for a painting by Lucien Freud

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Man with a Blue Scarf: On Sitting for a Portrait by Lucian Freud is a book unlike any other: the inside story of how it feels to pose for a remarkable artist, and to be transformed into a work of art. Full of wry and revealing observations, this is among the most original, enjoyable and informative books about art.

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Man with a Blue Scarf: On Sitting for a Portrait by Lucian Freud is a book unlike any other: the inside story of how it feels to pose for a remarkable artist, and to be transformed into a work of art. Full of wry and revealing observations, this is among the most original, enjoyable and informative books about art.

Lucian Freud, widely regarded as the greatest figurative painter of our time, spent seven months painting a portrait of the art critic Martin Gayford.

The daily narrative takes the reader into that most private place, the artist’s studio and to the heart of the working methods of this modern master both technical and subtly psychological. From this emerges an understanding of what a portrait is, but something else is also built up: a portrait, in words, of Freud himself.

This is not a biography, but a series of close-ups: the artist at work, and in conversation in restaurants, taxis and his studio. It takes the reader into the company of a painter for whom Picasso, Giacometti, Francis Bacon, George Orwell and W.H. Auden were friends and contemporaries.

The book is illustrated with many of Lucian Freud’s other works. Photographs taken by David Dawson of Freud at work are here as well as images by earlier artists discussed by Freud with Gayford such as Van Gogh and Titian.

Martin Gayford is a critic, writer and curator. Among his previous books are The Yellow House: Van Gogh, Gauguin and 
Nine Turbulent Weeks in Arles and Constable in Love.  In 2009 he was co-curator of the exhibition “Constable Portraits” at the National Portrait Gallery, London. In the past he has been art critic of the Spectator and Sunday Telegraph and is now chief art critic for Bloomberg News.