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Podcast: Personal conversations with modern art’s liveliest minds

Posted on 05 Apr 2023

We catch up with art historian Michael Peppiatt about friendship with Francis Bacon, lunch with Lucian Freud, and unforgettable encounters with the likes of Sonia Delaunay and more.

In this episode, art historian and curator Michael Peppiatt reflects on more than fifty years of writing about art, bringing to life his friendships with some of the best-known artists of the modern age.

Following a life-changing encounter with Francis Bacon in a Soho pub in 1963, Peppiatt found himself suddenly immersed in the lives of extraordinary artists. Here, Peppiatt describes what it was like to interview Sonia Delaunay in Paris – beginning with her ‘complete denunciation of Picasso’ – and his near-miss of Giacometti, who passed away before Peppiatt could deliver a letter of introduction from Francis Bacon himself.

Peppiatt also shares the experience of assembling his new book Artists’ Lives, which he likens to planning a dinner party, playing host to some of the biggest personalities in art.


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This episode was produced and presented by Eliza Apperly and edited by Benjamin Nash.

Discover the book

Artists' Lives

Michael Peppiatt