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Man with a Blue Scarf

On Sitting for a Portrait by Lucian Freud

Mr Martin Gayford


‘Will be read as long as Freud’s work is admired’ Sunday Times


Lucian Freud (1922–2011), 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 of their encounters takes us 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.

Full of wry and revealing observations, this is a book not quite like any other: the inside story of how it feels to pose for a remarkable artist, and be transformed into a work of art.

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'One of the best books about art, and the making of art, that I have ever read'
Julian Barnes

'Freud is vividly surprising, potent and dynamic ... a portrait of an anarchic painter with views on everything from Leonardo’s failings to Princess Margaret’s voice'

'If it is Freud who dominates this book, it is Gayford’s achievement to bring him out and to do so with wit and humour as well as acute intelligence ... literally inimitable'

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Product Information

Book Details

Format: Paperback

Edition Type: New Format

Size: 19.8 x 12.9 cm

Extent: 192 pp

Illustrations: 63

Publication date: 15 August 2019

ISBN: 9780500295182

About the Author

Martin Gayford is art critic for The Spectator and the author of acclaimed books on Van Gogh, Constable and Michelangelo. He is the author of Man with a Blue Scarf, Rendez-vous with Art and A Bigger Message. He has collaborated with David Hockney on A Bigger Message: Conversations with David Hockney and A History of Pictures, and has co-written a volume of travels and conversations with Philippe de Montebello: Rendez-vous with Art.