13 December 2013

Man with a Blue Scarf

In this age of mechanical reproduction, one rarely thinks of the model in a painting. Every painter is different in their technique and their use of models. The relationship between artist and subject is an intimate and personal relationship. Being a huge fan of Lucian Freud, it was a revelation reading Man with a Blue Scarf.

Art critic Martin Gayford was an acquaintance of Freud. He had known the artist for years when he volunteered to sit for him. First and foremost, we find that Freud takes his time, generally spending a year or more with each of his sitters. It is a huge commitment for the sitter. For an art critic, it proved to be valuable in site into the mind of the painter. Rather than keeping that information to himself, Gayford reveals the connection and expounds on his time with Freud.


"The experience of sitting in this pool of light, being examined so closely, is a curiousone. Staring, as LF stares constantly at me, is in ordinary life a disconcerting, even threatening act."


In the course of almost two years, Gayford and Freud talked about art and artists, friends and family, and food and animals. They visited galleries and often dined together after the session was over. This book is an eye-popping glimpse into the painter as artist told from an unusual point of view, that of the objet.





1 comment:

  1. It's rare to be able to read about how a master painter lives in his studio, relates to his models and audience, and how he handles and producing a painting. The writer knows a lot about painting, which adds to the detail and depth of his observations. Inspiring for painters of all levels!


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