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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Extraodinarily Good, 17 Aug. 2012
By 
R de Bulat (UK) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
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This review is from: Man With a Blue Scarf: On Sitting for a Portrait by Lucian Freud (Paperback)
As with other reviewers, I agree that this is a very good book; simply as a book to read - sort of biographical, as research or insight into the work of a great artist. It is, actually, something of a double portrait, with a remarkable exposition of the thoughts and workings of Lucien Freud and the engagement of his sitter, Martin Gayford, the writer of the book. Conversations with Lucien Freud about his long life and experiences, his views on art, Life, food and the extensive list of artists he knows and has known, is interesting and instructive; the book never flags or ceases to be interesting. Underlying all of this is the subject of painted portraiture, something that is beginning to re-emerge from long obscurity during the century of modernism and post modernism and the last remaining outpost of difficult art that is done by artists. Freud, himself states that he enters every painting not knowing where it will lead, if it will be successful. In this respect, the book is the best disquisition I have read on the subject and nailing, once an for all, the idea that portraiture is about verisimimilute of likeness as about character and quality of the painting. Picasso once remarked that in a hundred years no-one will care if a portrait looked like the person - as in this case, a good painting that bears a resemblance to the sitter without being a photographic likeness. Freud's sittings take place over months or even years as the painter and sitter develop a relationship with one another that forms a sort of intimacy helping the portrait to develop and grow, if you like, into a character of its own: Freud insists that the subject is just the starting point. Anyone interested in portraiture and, indeed, Freud's work, will find this book fascinating - even "unputdownable," absolutely 5 stars.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent!, 6 May 2012
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This review is from: Man With a Blue Scarf: On Sitting for a Portrait by Lucian Freud (Paperback)
This is a wonderful brief insight into the world of a hugely successful, professional artist. I would have liked to carry on reading after it finished...only gripe is I would have liked photos of the portrait in it's different stages to see how it grew.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A singularly perceptive piece of life writing, 23 Jun. 2013
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This review is from: Man With a Blue Scarf: On Sitting for a Portrait by Lucian Freud (Paperback)
After reading the first third of this captivating book in one sitting in a café, I noticed, on walking out, that even in just a glimpse, I felt like I was seeing individual human faces and their expressions in new ways. Such is the sensitivity of Martin Gayford's own written portrait of Freud (for whom Gayford sat), and the eloquence of their conversations about painting and the living body as presented here.

Like Oscar Wilde, Virginia Woolf or Miles Davis in their own different ways, Lucian Freud seems to have possessed a personality that guarantees engaging writing from others, whatever the quality or context. As it is though, this is a beautifully written work in its own right. The rooms in which Freud painted, and the changing light and shade within these, are evoked with vivid atmosphere, yet are never overly detailed. As the seasons progress along with the painting (with some uncertain, occasionally frustrating moments in the latter's emergence discussed), the contact between the sitter and the artist develops quite movingly.

Gayford creates a compelling sense of what it was like to be in Freud's company, and, through the artist's own comments as recalled in the narrative, the book is richly, if fragmentarily, informative about an extraordinarily eventful life. Gayford appears utterly respectful and discrete. It would have been intriguing to have read more about what others might have told or asked Gayford about the enigmatic Freud, but it's a tribute to the author's integrity that the focus is entirely on the two men's own interactions.

I finished the book in a day or so, several months ago, but continue to enjoy reopening it at random. Inevitably, this is likely to be an important book for anyone interested in Freud and indeed in painting, but I can confidently imagine it being a pleasure to read for people who (like myself) have read relatively little about painting and painters.(It could make an excellent present).
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars read it today, 3 July 2013
This review is from: Man With a Blue Scarf: On Sitting for a Portrait by Lucian Freud (Paperback)
A fascinating book giving insights into the minds of both sitter and artist. It was a comprehensive guide into how Freud painted and worked on a day to day basis.I would highly recommend you reading it as soon as possible if you are interested in the artistic process.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant, 1 July 2013
By 
Dr. Chris Carter "cjc" (St.Andrews, Scotland) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Man With a Blue Scarf: On Sitting for a Portrait by Lucian Freud (Paperback)
Superb insight into the biography, mind & practice of a legendary artist. Fascinating comments on variety of non-art topics included.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great book, 8 April 2013
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This review is from: Man With a Blue Scarf: On Sitting for a Portrait by Lucian Freud (Paperback)
The book arrived quickly. I love the book beautifully produced and arrived in excellent condition. To have plenty of pictures illustrating the text is a major plus.
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5.0 out of 5 stars A fascinating and enjoyable read, 28 Sept. 2014
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A fascinating insight into the life of Lucien Freud, told as a diary of sittings for a portrait. This is much more than a history of the sittings and conversations as it goes off into many side alleys of topics and discussions about contemporary and historical artists. Freud's opinions on some of the great artists are illuminating and often controversial. Gayford's tremendous depth of knowledge gives the book a huge range of interest, with ease and a self deprecating wit that keeps one enthralled and entertained. It is a tour de force and the most insightful, easy and joyous art history lesson that you could ever want. I will read it again and again.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Great insight in Freud, 13 Jun. 2014
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This review is from: Man With a Blue Scarf: On Sitting for a Portrait by Lucian Freud (Paperback)
Loved reading this...pace is good and it's an interesting insight into the mastery of Lucian Freud with snippets of his 'personality'. I really felt I was there, in the same room. Very well written and subsequently went out and borrowed from library his book on David Hockney. Lovely book to keep too.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Okay, 16 Dec. 2013
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This review is from: Man With a Blue Scarf: On Sitting for a Portrait by Lucian Freud (Paperback)
I'm interested enough in the artist to buy the book. In my humble opinion. There isn't a whole lot written about Lucian Freud, so this is a good read for those interested in his work.
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5.0 out of 5 stars SO good I,ve read it twics, 26 Nov. 2013
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This review is from: Man With a Blue Scarf: On Sitting for a Portrait by Lucian Freud (Paperback)
Great book if you want to know more about Freud and the way he worked,things he liked ,about his studio and his methods of working. I recommend this book to any artist ,in fact i have recommended it to all my friends
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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 by Martin Gayford (Paperback - 5 Mar. 2012)
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