This book is a collection of photographs taken in Freud's studio of his work, himself and his sitters. It is a unique look at a private man and his famous work. Some pieces are shown in their developmental stages which are really interesting, along with the sitters in their original pose. You view exactly what Freud did as he painted them. It is more a photojournalistic look at an artist's life in his studio, rather than a book on the pieces the artist produced.
Pages 11-42 open with a conversation with Freud by Sebastian Smee. Included are snippets of his relationship with Francis Bacon, his art and some of the canvases displayed further into the book as well as thoughts on other artists.
The book is then divided into two. The first section displaying photos by Bruce Bernard (a picture editor and friend of Freud) while the second half are photos by David Dawson (the painter's assistant).
Bruce Bernard's photos begin with his portrait in 1996 and finish with 'After Cezanne' in 2000. Bruce's images begin with a few poses of the painter and move on to Leigh bowery, 'fat' sue, nicole bateman and then the piece 'After Cezanne'. Bruce's photos are 'artsy' and therefore some colour renditions aren't exact and the odd one is given a grainy feel.
David Dawson's photos begin where Bruce left off and finish with Sabina Donelly in 2006. It shows images of the Queen and 'The painter surprised by a naked admirer' amongst others. He has also included some etchings.
The photos themselves are normally just under one page size with a few going over 2 pages, but this didn't compromise the images as so often it can do. There are approximately 128 photos.
To sum up: I liked this book because I was able to see the canvases in their development, in their actual scale in the studio and the sitters themselves. In other words, the content was excellent. The only let down would be the quality of some of the images. I would not buy this book if I had no other books on Freud, but it is a great book to accompany other publications of his work as you view the background from which they came. A rare insight into his studio. I am very pleased I bought the book.
240pp - Approximately 128 photos
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See the models behind the paintings. Check out the painting that the wealthy owner of Chelsea football club acquired. The Queen and David Hockney actually sitting for Lucien. Genuinely interesting . I saw this book when house- sitting for a family member and knew I would want to return to it again.