Man With a Blue Scarf | Lucian Freud | Book Review

On Sitting For A Portrait By Lucian Freud, Written By Martin Gayford

I’m really interested in people as animals… I like people to look as natural and as physically at ease as animals, as Pluto my whippet.
— Lucian Freud

The reason I bought a brindle whippet 5 years ago was simply because Lucian Freud kept whippets. He had a brindle whippet called Pluto which appeared in several of his paintings, drawings and etchings. Whippets aren't really dogs, they seem a lot more feline, they are aloof elongated creatures which make good companions for quite aloof people.

Lucian loved animals and often treated his human sister as if they were animals. As a private person who rarely gave interviews and avoided the press, I found Martin Gayford's a book an immensely intimate view into Lucian Freud's world.

The book tells the story of what it is like to sit for a painting by Lucian Freud. A very private artists this is almost a fly on the wall experience into Lucian's life over the year or so it took to paint the portrait. 

The book recounts conversations, his biography, Freud's thoughts and everyday conversation. He tells the story of how meticulous Lucian Freud is as a painter and how patient you have to be as his sitter. The book made me feel as if I was right there in his studio listening and experiencing him creating this painting. 

It's such a beautiful and interesting book into LF thoughts and technique, the way he works and how he lives his life. 

A brilliant read.