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Man with a Blue Scarf: On Sitting for a Portrait by Lucian Freud Hardcover


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Thames & Hudson (October 15, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0500238758
  • ISBN-13: 978-0500238752
  • Product Dimensions: 9.3 x 6.4 x 1.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.6 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (20 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #641,413 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Martin Gayford is art critic for Bloomberg News and author of the acclaimed Man With a Blue Scarf: On Sitting for a Portrait by Lucian Freud and David Hockney: A Bigger Message.

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Customer Reviews

4.9 out of 5 stars
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It's such an interesting and different point of view.
P. Sherman
This is a book I will come back to again - one reading is not enough to peel back the layers.
Carol Smith
Great insight, well written, interesting, and beautifully put together.
Ruben

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

29 of 29 people found the following review helpful By P. Sherman on October 17, 2010
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Highly recommend! I really enjoyed this book! It's such an interesting and different point of view. If you love reading about art, if you are interested in Lucien Freud, and if you are interested in the process of making art and what it takes to be a great artist, you should read this book. The quality of the book is also superb! The art work is printed in good color and detail, and everything the author is referring to, every art work, even if it's not by Lucien Freud, is included in the book, the page numbers are given, and the art work is located usually right next to the text or on the next page. Go and get this book, you will enjoy it!
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Grady Harp HALL OF FAMETOP 50 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on February 11, 2011
Format: Hardcover
Martin Gayford, the critic for Bloomberg News and Spectator, had the extraordinary opportunity to sit for one of today's most important portrait painters - Lucien Freud. MAN WITH A BLUE SCARF is a moment by moment and day by day conversation between these two important men, an opportunity to understand the mechanics of portrait painting like few other books have offered.

The book not only gives fascinating inside information as tot he artist/model relationship complete with sketches and in progress images of the sessions, but it also provides an intelligent well written dissertation on the process Gayford observed of the portrait building atmosphere. He also reflects on the various practices of other painters such as Mondrian, Goya, Chardin, Michelangelo, Vermeer and others and provides a treasure trove of anecdotes of the famous people Freud has encountered and at at times painted such as Francis Bacon, WH Auden, Picasso, and even Freud's grandfather, the great Sigmund Freud. The numerous photographs and reproduction of Freud's paintings are well presented. This is one of those 'art books' that is as successful a study of art technique as it is a memoir and biography and study of the history of art. Highly Recommended. Grady Harp, February 11
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Deborah S. Hall VINE VOICE on March 25, 2011
Format: Hardcover
This is a wonderful read no matter who you are, as the other reviews attest. I found it to be especially interesting as I paint portraits and have long greatly admired Freud. It is a rare treat to hear how he thinks about the process of painting, the energy it requires, the recognition of how both the subject and the painter continually change during the long process (either a difficulty or an opportunity), the process of deciding how to finish a painting and when to declare it complete, the need to keep working continually, the cycle one often goes through, sometimes liking, then finding problems with, and then sometimes ultimately correcting and improving, the need to edit what gets out, the absence of any interest in a painting after it is done, other than what it might have taught you that you can use going forward, the parallels between love of food and love of paint, and even his annoyance with people who say things like "how wonderful it must be to be creative, how fortunate for you to have been given talent" (how I hate that!) I have hundreds of books about painters and painting and this (along with David Sylvester's interviews with Francis Bacon) has risen to the top of my list of most cherished. Painters don't often talk that much, to other painters or to anyone, about their painting. Freud has given very very few interviews. To have had this opportunity to hear what Lucian Freud thinks about so many aspects of his work is just immeasurably valuable.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Carol Smith on June 20, 2011
Format: Hardcover
A gorgeous book.
The warmth and companionship shared between these two men is palpable as we are allowed to 'listen-in' to their wonderful conversations on art and life. I found myself laughing out loud at some of 'LF's deadpan comments about fellow artists he has known - and at aged 81 he has lived long enough to have been acquainted with Picasso as well as with Damien Hirst. He also recalls gangsters he met while living in the east end in his younger days, and wealthy friends of his grandfather in Paris - with equal razor sharp commentary. Through the conversations we get to understand a little more about LFs philosophy, and he comes across as 100% devoted to his work, very insightful about people and a risk taker who revels in pushing the boundaries. Martin Gayford - as the model - chronicles both an enlightening observation of the mechanics of how LF works (including transcribing his mutterings and footwork!), and also an honest (and equally witty) observation of his own emotional fluctuations throughout the process as he wonders how the portrait will turn out and in what light it will show him.
Finally - deep inside the humour and the observations is a pretty big question about the nature of a portrait and whether it can ever represent the sitter, or only a fleeting aspect of them, or is really a reflection of the artist.
This is a book I will come back to again - one reading is not enough to peel back the layers.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By jordiw on March 11, 2011
Format: Hardcover
This is a wonderful book. It is especially interesting to people who paint as it lets you into an educated, intelligent view of a portrait from the view of the model. In addition you get the benefit of "listening" to Lucian Freud talk. And he does talk ... it is great to be able to listen in when he does. If you paint, if you love Freud's paintings, if you love painting as a process, read this. You will love it.
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