Book number: 94879 Product format: Paperback Author: WILLIAM FEAVER

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At the height of his fame as a portrait painter Lucian Freud could pick and choose his sitters, rejecting Jerry Hall's "plastic glamour" but completing a magnificent full-length military portrait of his old friend Brigadier Andrew Parker Bowles. The second volume of this roller-coaster biography opens in 1968 with Freud on the brink of stardom but not quite there yet, still attracting lower prices and less publicity than his friend and rival Francis Bacon. In the opening chapters Freud pursues his model Jacquetta Eliot down to her ancestral place in Cornwall, reporting that "they ate off solid silver plates, even shepherd's pie". He changes his agent after discovering that Bacon has advised the Marlborough Gallery that Freud's work is overpriced. Freud's colleague Frank Auerbach also had a Jewish refugee background and their friendship developed as Francis Bacon faded. Painting out of the window is something Freud did when life was stressed and his back garden paintings from Gloucester Terrace, following the death of his father, are a highly prized departure from portraiture in their detailed depiction of urban decay. Freud admitted that he was irritated by Stanley Spencer ("I thought his paintings were suburban") but acknowledged that they had something in common. When Jacquetta became pregnant, her husband Peregrine accepted the child and the affair with Freud ended soon after. Meanwhile Sonia Orwell suggested bumping off Bacon's lover, but reason prevailed. Freud was a compulsive gambler and at least one bookie was paid with a portrait. The search for models was not always easy, and Feaver interviews Freud's daughters about the experience of being painted nude. Andrew Lloyd Webber was keen for Freud to paint his wife and "even threatened me with theatre tickets". The performer Leigh Bowery was introduced to Freud in 1986 and he in turn introduced his friend Sue Tilley, the fleshy benefits supervisor of several iconic canvases, paintings which startle by their physical realism - and he has tattooed swallows at the base of Kate Moss's back. Never a dull moment in this astonishing life. 568pp, paperback, black and white and colour photos.

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ISBN 9781526603586
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