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Love Lucian: The letters and early life of Lucian Freud

Thursday, 6 October – 7:00pm Freud Museum London, Maresfield Gardens, London, UK

Book Event £30 – £36

Hannah Rothschild in conversation with Martin Gayford and David Dawson.

Coinciding with the first exhibition of Lucian Freud’s works at the Freud Museum London, they are proud to welcome the artist’s longstanding assistant and Director of the Lucian Freud Archive, David Dawson, and exhibition’s curator and author, Martin Gayford, to speak about their new publication: Love Lucian: The Letters of Lucian Freud 1939-1954 (due September 2022). The evening’s discussion will be guided by author and documentary filmmaker, Hannah Rothschild.

Exploring some of the overlapping themes present in both Love Lucian and the exhibition, the discussion will aim draw out some interesting and lesser-known facets of Lucian’s early life. Having uncovered illustrated letters to friends, love letters, and even telegrams, Dawson and Gayford’s latest research will offer an intimate glimpse of the artist’s personality and creative practice in the early part of his career.


David Dawson is a painter and photographer who was Freud’s assistant and regular model for over twenty years. He appears in paintings such as Sunny Morning–Eight Legs, 1997. Dawson is Director of the Lucian Freud Archive.

Martin Gayford is art critic for The Spectator. His books include Man with a Blue Scarf (in which he recounts the experience of being painted by Freud), Modernists and Mavericks, Spring Cannot be Cancelled (with David Hockney), A History of Pictures (with David Hockney) and Shaping the World (with Antony Gormley), all published by Thames & Hudson.

Chaired by:

Hannah Rothschild CBE is a British writer, documentary filmmaker, businesswoman and philanthropist. She’s made documentary features for the BBC, HBO and others. She writes screenplays and articles for newspapers and magazines. She’s lectures on art, philanthropy and history and appears regularly at literary festivals. Her books, two novels and a biography have won and been nominated for prizes and are translated into more than twenty languages. In 2015 she became the first woman to chair the National Gallery. In 2018 she was made a CBE for her contribution to the arts and philanthropy. In 2021 she was nominated to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.