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Man with a Blue Scarf: On Sitting for a Portrait by Lucian Freud Hardcover – October 15, 2010
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Top Customer Reviews
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
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.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Great read which gives you a sense of Lucian Freud's process.Published 20 months ago by Rosemary Venter
Interesting tale of the making of a painting and the life of a painter. I found the writing to be compelling enough to keep you reading an otherwise short story. Read morePublished 23 months ago by T. DELPORTE
This is a very interesting book on a subject that I haven't read anything about before. It is well worth reading and I will recommend it to everyone.Published on October 26, 2013 by Laura K. Deblank
My present freudmania was somewhat sated by this very readable book, which gives good idea of what it was like to sit for the great man. An entertaining insightful book.Published on January 5, 2013 by Amazon Customer
I was surprised to discover the author of this addictive read was Martin Gayford, having just read his A Bigger Message, about Hockney. Read morePublished on December 28, 2012 by whispering hawk
Very interesting book. It is nice that it contains images of the pieces of art that are referenced in the writing. I would have liked more information on Freud himself.Published on November 26, 2012 by Watercolor Lover
If you have the slightest interest whatsoever in the creative process, be it art, writing, music or whatever, this narrative will inspire you with unadulterated insight. Read morePublished on October 19, 2012 by little lady blue
Very well written! Reads fluently, never boring.Fantastic observation till the end into the psychology of the sitter and the artist.Published on September 24, 2012 by Godelieve M Thiers