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By Geordie Greig

An insider’s account—the first of its kind—of the completely unconventional lifetime of one of many 20th century’s so much shockingly unique painters

Lucian Freud’s work are immediately recognizable: usually surprising and annoying, his snap shots show a profound but compelling feel of soreness. Freud was once two times married and the daddy of not less than a dozen young ones, and his a number of relationships with ladies have been the topic of a lot gossip—but the fellow himself remained a secret. An intensely deepest person (during his lifetime he avoided deliberate biographies from being published), Freud’s existence, in addition to his artwork, invitations questions that experience had no answer—until now.
     In Breakfast with Lucian, Geordie Greig, one among a number of shut neighbors who frequently had breakfast with the painter over the last years of his existence, tells an insider’s account—accessible, attractive, revealing—of one of many 20th century’s such a lot interesting, enigmatic, and debatable artists. Greig, who has studied his subject’s paintings at size, unravels the tangled thread of a lifestyles lived on Freud’s personal uncompromising phrases. in accordance with inner most conversations during which Freud held forth on every thing from past love to playing money owed to the work of Velázquez, and expert by means of interviews with buddies, enthusiasts, and a few of the artist’s young children who've by no means earlier than spoken publicly approximately their relationships with the painter, it is a deeply own memoir that's illuminated via a willing appreciation of Freud’s paintings. clean, humorous, and eventually profound, Breakfast with Lucian is a necessary portrait—one precious of 1 of the best painters of our time.
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Extra resources for Breakfast with Lucian: A Portrait of the Artist

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Both men have their eyes closed, Raymond’s right hand on his friend’s left ankle, their limbs interlocked, the tip of his penis concealed under John’s calf. It is a scene which poses many questions about their identity and relationship. Both naked portraits of Raymond were key to Lucian fearlessly marking his territory as a cold-eyed observer. They became crucial images in his canon. As a seventeen-year-old schoolboy, seeing the Freud show with Naked Man with Rat was like encountering Keith Richards crossed with Picasso: libidinous, risk-taking, bold and threatening.

Over the years Lucian’s breakfast varied from pains au raisin to porridge to scrambled egg and toast, Sally and David always wanting to make sure he ate sufficiently and healthily as he had a very sweet tooth. Lucian would often take a bar of home-made nougat from the shop’s shelves as he walked in, sometimes jokingly slipping it into his pocket like a shoplifter. With a murderously sharp black-handled kitchen knife, he would slice it bit by bit, offering up slivers. In the last three years of his life I drove to the restaurant from Holland Park, where I lived on the ground floor of the building in which he had a top-floor studio.

The portrait was to change the perception of male nakedness in contemporary painting, as Freud emphasised a brazen and raw male physicality. There was a psychological drama to the man stripped of all his clothes lying with a rat. It had overtones of discomfort and exposure, like a man in a prison cell, but seemed more perverse by virtue of it being in a domestic setting. There was no nobility or idealisation. His penis and balls are deliberately in the centre of the canvas and are meant to be stared at.

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