Author(s): Martin Gayford
A beautifully produced paperback edition of the literary art book hailed as one of the best and most continually fascinating books about painting in recent memory. Lucian Freud (1922-2011) spent seven months painting a portrait of the art critic Martin Gayford. Gayford describes the process chronologically, from the day he arrived for the first sitting through to his meeting with the couple who bought the finished painting. As Freud creates a portrait of Gayford, so the art critic produces his own portrait of the notoriously private artist, recounting their wide-ranging conversations and giving a rare insight into Freuds working practice. The book is illustrated throughout with photographs by David Dawson of Freud at work, with paintings by Freud from the 1940s to the present, and images by other artists discussed by Freud with Gayford. The result vividly conveys what it is like to be on the inside of the process of creating a painting by a great artist. "It will be read as long as Freuds work is admired". ("The Sunday Times"). "If it is Freud who dominates this book, it is Gayfords achievement to bring him out and to do so with wit and humor as well as acute intelligence. "Man with a Blue Scarf" is literally inimitable no one else is going to get this opportunity. It's the real deal". ("The Guardian"). "A journal, an act of confession, a character study of Freud, a piecemeal survey of art history and an investigation into the practicalities of portraiture". ("The Spectator"). "Gayfords observations and Dawsons photos provide a unique insight into the working habits of the greatest painter of the human frame in all its infinite variety". ("New Statesman"). "Freud is vividly surprising, potent and dynamic a portrait of an anarchic painter with views on everything from Leonardos failings to Princess Margarets voice". ("The Observer").