Lucian Freud (2)

It seems to be the season for books about Lucian Freud because I went last week to the launch of the first volume of William Feaver’s massive and magnificently detailed biography of Freud, which he was banned from publishing during Freud’s lifetime on the grounds that it was all fiction, which it is only to the extent that all biography involves an element of invention and Freud no doubt felt, as all artists do, that what was important was not the life, however meticulously documented, but the art.

What comes across in what I have read so far is the importance of Freud’s upbringing in Berlin, part of the 1920s Berlin elite, living next door to the Ullsteins, and how early his talent was recognised, Stephen Spender inviting himself to stay in the cottage where Freud went to paint in Snowdonia as a seventeen-year old and regarded by the critic John Russell as like Tadzio in Death in Venice.

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One thought on “Lucian Freud (2)

  1. Jean Walker says:

    By coincidence, I have just finished reading the biography of Stephen Spender by John Sutherland and it describes that period in Berlin in detail along with Spenders’ long friendship with Christopher Isherwood.

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