Man with a Blue Scarf by Martin Gayford
On Sitting for a Portrait by Lucian Freud

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“An extraordinary record of a great artist in his studio, it also describes what it feels like to be transformed into a work of art.” ―ARTnews

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 the reader 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 created: a portrait, in words, of Freud himself. This is not a biography, but a series of close-ups: the artist at work and in conversation at restaurants, in taxis, and in his studio. It takes one into the company of the painter for whom Picasso, Giacometti, and Francis Bacon were friends and contemporaries, as were writers such as George Orwell and W. H. Auden.

The book is illustrated with many of Lucian Freud’s other works, telling photographs taken by David Dawson of Freud in his studio, and images by such great artists of the past as van Gogh and Titian who are discussed by Freud and Gayford.

Full of wry observations, the book reveals the inside story of how it feels to pose for a remarkable artist and become a work of art. 63 illustrations, 57 in color

About Martin Gayford

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Martin Gayford is a chief art critic for Bloomberg News. His previous books include The Yellow House and Constable in Love. He lives in England.
Published September 9, 2013 by Thames & Hudson. 248 pages
Genres: History, Arts & Photography. Non-fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for Man with a Blue Scarf

Tablet Magazine

Gayford would learn the difficulties the hard way while sitting for his portrait “Man With a Blue Scarf.” As Freud studied Gayford with his eagle eye, Gayford meditated on Freud’s unhinged muttering and the technical aspects of the production of the art, also Freud’s “constant, deliberate, variat...

Jan 23 2014 | Read Full Review of Man with a Blue Scarf: On Sit...