Martin Gayford: Man with a Blue Scarf

Sitting for the spiky, inspired Lucian Freud

Angus Trumble

 

Man with a Blue Scarf: On sitting for a Portrait by Lucian Freud
by Martin Gayford
Thames & Hudson, $49.95 pb, 237 pp, 9780500238752

 

‘I kept thinking: if his face looks like this, what must his balls look like?’ David Hockney’s assessment of the craggy countenance of W.H. Auden is clipped and convenient, but I suspect Auden would have been far more interesting on the subject of sitting for Hockney. Given the concentration and quality of the encounters between English portrait painters or sculptors and their subjects, it is slightly odd that more writers have not published accounts of the experience of sitting for their portrait.

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Published in November 2010 no. 326
Angus Trumble

Angus Trumble

Angus Trumble is Senior Curator of Paintings and Sculpture at the Yale Center for British Art in New Haven, Connecticut. Previously he was a Curator of European Art at the Art Gallery of South Australia. His latest publication is The Finger: A Handbook (2010). (Photograph by Mary Ellen Carroll)


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