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Man with a Blue Scarf: On Sitting for a Portrait by Lucian Freud Hardcover – 6 Sep 2010

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 248 pages
  • Publisher: Thames & Hudson; First Edition edition (6 Sept. 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0500238758
  • ISBN-13: 978-0500238752
  • Product Dimensions: 1.7 x 0.3 x 2.4 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (21 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 235,203 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Review

"Take one art critic, sit him in a studio with the world's greatest living portrait painter, then document what happens. It's an inspired approach to a book. As Freud paints Gayford, both men have plenty of time to ruminate on art and life, resulting in a superlative anecdotal micro-history of painting."
--BOOKSELLER's special Art issue

'Beautifully published, with wonderfully selected illustrations - succeeds in creating a bridge between Freud the artist and Freud the man' --'Book of the Week', Craig Brown, The Mail on Sunday

`Both a valuable contribution to art history and a beautiful object in itself ... It will be read as long as Freud's work is admired ... a very long time indeed' --Lynn Barber, The Sunday Times

`Told in the form of a diary, sitting by sitting, easily, conversationally, insightfully,with a delicate humour ... enthralling' --Michael Glover, The Independent

`A rich mix of the conversation, remembrances, working practices and musings on art and life ... fascinating
and thoughtful ... a striking success' --The Sunday Telegraph

`Freud is vividly surprising, potent and dynamic...[his] insights are piercing and astringent ... a portrait of an anarchic painter with views on everything'
--The Observer

'Excellent ... Not only offers fresh insights into Freud but catches the tensions and drama inherent in the business of portraiture' --The Guardian

`An unexpectedly moving investigation of the artistic process' --The Economist

'...stands a good chance of becoming a set work for students. It would be a rarity on a reading list - a book that's
not just read but relished' --The Spectator

`Well worth reading for the riveting details of Freud's work methods and conversation... the anecdotes are great fun' --Elspeth Barker, The Literary Review

`Fascinating ... a forensic record of how our foremost figurative painter worked... By the end, in memory, you can see the artist almost whole'
--The Daily Telegraph

`An art book unlike any other ... beautifully illustrated throughout, not only with Freud's own paintings, to enlighten the reader on references in the text' --Daily Mail

`Revealing and important ... a significant insight into the working practice of one of Britain's greatest living artists' --Country Life

`Fascinating record of the author's talks with Freud as he sat for the artist'
--The Sunday Times

'A beautifully perceptive diary' --The Lady

'As a lively account of Freud's working practice, tastes and opinions, it will become a document of increasing historical value'
--British Museum Magazine

`A unique portrait of the artist'
--The Belfast Telegraph

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

15 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Neil on 12 Nov. 2010
Format: Hardcover
Not only is it interesting to hear Freud's conversations with Gayford which are entertaining and absorbing(ranging from his outspoken opinions on Raphael and Leonardo, colourful characters from his past, his working methods, previous models, his relationship with Francis Bacon to what is for dinner/lunch) but it's also very interesting to see inside the head of the sitter himself as the picture develops and is finally completed.
Well written and easy to read. I could happily reread this many times. I liked all the pictures referred to in the text being reproduced in the book close to/opposite where they are mentioned so there is no endless flicking back and forth.
Excellent for any fan of Freud or art.
Would make a very good gift.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Marney Smith on 10 Jan. 2011
Format: Hardcover
Man with a Blue Scarf by Martin Gayford
An extremely comprehensive acount of a sitting for portrait painter extraordinaire, Lucian Freud, by art critic and writer Martin Gayford. It incorporates many entertaining anecdotes from his association with artists like Francis Bacon and Picasso etc to aristocrats and criminals, and his search for interesting models for his portraits.
It is an exceptionally readable book giving insights into Freud's working methods and his complete dedication to his art, illustrated with examples of his and other artist' work, and is written with humour and tolerance.
I found this book completely enjoyable and absorbing and would thoroughly recommend it to anyoe with an interest in portrait painting and art in general.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Seymour Forde on 19 Nov. 2010
Format: Hardcover
One of those books without apparent purpose or ambition and all the better for their absence. The reader is tempted into the sense of being present for the intimate non-happening moments of the portrait's making. A pure joy.
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful By B.Graham on 9 Nov. 2010
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
For those sad ones like me who want to know about the process of making art but also want to know where the artist ate and what; what time he worked and for how long and what he talked about and what do the paitings look like:

Marvellous !!

Oh,and those who admire Freuds paintings.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By 05kimsa on 5 Jan. 2012
Format: Hardcover
As an A - level student who loves painting portraits and a 'fastidious' fan of Freud, It was a book that I happened to come across in a book-store with no knowledge of the book whatsoever. To be completely honest, I do not even recall the last book I read (I know... ) and I had no intentions to read a book of any sort at the time until I stumbled across this one - one I only opened up because the picture of Martin Gayford's portrait was one I had recognised as Freud's painting. I had a read of the first paragraph and I just kept reading on and on and I couldn't help myself but to give up buying the book I needed to buy and buy this one, and it has probably changed my life ,the way I think and the way I paint (no exaggeration) .In a students perspective, it was enriching with, not just the 'art', but on life, experiences and wisdom. It feels as if I have been given a wealth of lessons and experiences just from reading this book. I know it may seem as if I am going over the top slightly, however It really is a book that made me think a lot and it has got me into reading book! The first and probably always a book I would urge almost anyone to read (It's not just about art! Highly amusing too). If anyone who has read this - could they recommend me another book that would suit me having loved this book? Thanks!

It is truly a piece of life that I have digested in my brain and heart. Truly beautiful.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Ma-Humorless on 1 Dec. 2010
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I have no knowledge of these 2 men, and bought this book on the basis of a good review. Glad I did! A very good read.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Jane McCall on 15 Nov. 2010
Format: Hardcover
The luxury of a hardback for the price of a soft back. Wonderful diary written during portrait sitting and a fascinating insight into the mind , opinions and experiences of one of the worlds greatest living artists.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Jill Meyer TOP 500 REVIEWER on 30 July 2011
Format: Hardcover
British art critic Martin Gayford has written of his posing for the late painter, Lucian Freud, in his book, "Man with a Blue Scarf". Both Gayford's writing and the Freud paintings (as well as others referred to in the text) are brilliant. I found this to be a wonderful introduction both to Freud's work and the actual work on the part of both artist and subject.

Lucian Freud died in London in July, 2011, at the age of 88. I knew very little about his work and the little I knew of him was basically that he was a grandson of Sigmund Freud and that he had been married to the writer Caroline Blackwood. While looking into books about Freud, I saw this relatively recently published book by Martin Gayford, telling of his serving as a subject for a Freud portrait. In all, Gayford sat for Freud in his London studio about 16 months as Freud painted his portrait. At the same time Freud was painting Gayford, he had several other on-going portraits he was working on.

Well, if Freud could paint, Gayford can write. He compares his own sitting as a subject to the other subjects Freud had worked on over the years. Gayford puts styles to pictures and gives a marvelous overview to Freud's long career. In their sittings, Freud and Gayford spent long hours talking about Freud, his career, his life and loves, and his interests in life. While I assume the conversations were two-sided, Gayford recounts the gist of the conversations from Freud's view. Gayford puts styles to pictures and gives a marvelous overview to Freud's long career. And while comparing Freud's work to others, both past and present, who have influenced Freud, the book usually includes pictures of the paintings being written about.
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