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.
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.