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Man with a Blue Scarf: On Sitting for a Portrait by Lucian Freud [Hardcover]

Martin Gayford
4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (17 customer reviews)

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Man With a Blue Scarf: On Sitting for a Portrait by Lucian Freud Man With a Blue Scarf: On Sitting for a Portrait by Lucian Freud 4.9 out of 5 stars (16)
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Product details

  • Hardcover: 248 pages
  • Publisher: Thames & Hudson; First edition. Hardback. edition (6 Sep 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0500238758
  • ISBN-13: 978-0500238752
  • Product Dimensions: 2.9 x 16.5 x 23.9 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (17 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 266,980 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description


"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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Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5 stars
4.8 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Thoroughly Enjoyable and Absorbing 12 Nov 2010
By Neil
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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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars a subtle treat 19 Nov 2010
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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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Man with a Blue Scarf 10 Jan 2011
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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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Enjoyable. 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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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Review 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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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful service, thankyou , 15 Nov 2010
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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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A piece of life 5 Jan 2012
By 05kimsa
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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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great read for Freud fans! 4 Sep 2011
By lurcher
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
This is the best book I've purchased in ages - a real 'page turner'. The only disappointment for me was that it came to an end too soon! The content was pretty much as I expected. Martin Gayford manages to bring his experience of sitting for a portrait to life - to the point where I was dying to know the outcome, despite having seen the portrait before!!! This book is an absolute must for Freud fans.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
Very Good.
Published 13 hours ago by Peter H Patterson
5.0 out of 5 stars Man with a Blue Scarf: On Sitting for a Portrait by Lucian Freud.
This is proving to be a most interesting book - though, at present, I am only two thirds of the way through - I read it sporadically, as it is so fascinating that I don't want to... Read more
Published on 1 Nov 2011 by artdealer
5.0 out of 5 stars even if art is not your thing you'll love it
This is a fascinating book, even for those to whom art is not really their thing. You do NOT need to be an expert on art to enjoy the book and follow the topics of conversation... Read more
Published on 28 Sep 2011 by I. Hasselberg
5.0 out of 5 stars View of an artist at work.
British art critic Martin Gayford has written of his posing for the late painter, Lucian Freud, in his book, "Man with a Blue Scarf". Read more
Published on 30 July 2011 by Jill Meyer
5.0 out of 5 stars man with a blue scarf - an inside view
I have loved Lucien Freud's work for as long as I can remember. There are endless learned papers and books about his work but Martin Gayford found the yawning gap and has filled it... Read more
Published on 18 Jun 2011 by Kate F. Measham
3.0 out of 5 stars Interesting but frustrating
Martin Gayford wrote a diary during eighteen months to note what was going on between him and Lucian Freud while sitting for his portrait. It was an interesting premise. Read more
Published on 19 Mar 2011 by Serge Berthier
5.0 out of 5 stars A quiet masterpiece
One of my friends - an Art Historian - thinks Freud is an old phoney and that he's done nothing of interest for thirty years. Read more
Published on 10 Mar 2011 by John McCartney, Amazon Customer
5.0 out of 5 stars Man with a Blue Scarf
I originally saw this book at Chatsworth House and purchased the book from Amazon. I found that it was an extremely well written account of the authors experience sitting for... Read more
Published on 9 Mar 2011 by Steve Bryan
5.0 out of 5 stars READ IT!
Published on 7 Jan 2011 by John M. Piercey
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