Breakfast With Lucian: The Astounding Life and Outrageous Times of Britain's Great Modern Painter (Anglais) Relié – 22 octobre 2013
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Revue de presse
"Geordie Greig has written an extraordinary, candid book which is at times intensely shocking and at other times even more intensely moving." (Antonia Fraser)
"Insightful, gossipy, funny, a bit shocking. The most entertaining biography I have read in a long time." (Philip Kerr Daily Mail)
"Breakfast with Lucian is a superb, flawlessly crafted portrait of about as messy a life as was ever lived...out of which emerged the greatest British painter of the past one hundred years." (Tom Wolfe)
"A must for lovers of that extraordinary artist." (Sunday Telegraph) --Ce texte fait référence à l'édition Relié .
Présentation de l'éditeur
For ten years Geordie Greig was among a very small group of friends who regularly met Lucian Freud for breakfast at Clarke's restaurant on Kensington Church Street. Over tea and the morning papers, Freud would recount stories of his past and discuss art. It was, in effect, Freud's private salon.
In this kaleidoscopic memoir, Greig remembers Freud's stories: of death threats; escaping from Nazi Germany; falling out with his brother Clement; loathing his mother; painting David Hockney; sleeping with horses; escaping the Krays; painting the Queen; his controversial role as a father; and why Velázquez was the greatest painter. It is revelatory about his art, his lovers, his children, his enemies and his love of gambling. Freud dared never to do dull, speaking candidly of dancing with Garbo as well as painting Kate Moss naked.
Those closest to him, after decades of silence and secrecy, have spoken frankly about what life was like living, loving or sitting for the greatest figurative portraitist of the twentieth century. Partly based on hours of taped conversations with the artist and his circle, and drawing on interviews with those who knew Freud intimately - including many girlfriends, models, dealers and bookmakers - Breakfast with Lucian is an intimate portrait of the artist as a young and old man. Illustrated with many unseen photographs of Freud, it is a uniquely fascinating, personal and authoritative account of one of the greatest British painters of this century and the last, and a profile of a man who makes everyone else's life seem less lived.--Ce texte fait référence à l'édition Relié .
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Ce peintre qui protégeait farouchement sa vie privée et qui a donné très rarement des interviews apparaît ici très proche, accessible, presque intime. De larges extraits de conversations avec l'auteur rapportés fidèlement permettent d'approcher au plus près la personnalité et l'originalité de celui qui est sans doute le plus grand peintre britannique de ces 50 dernières années. Des entretiens avec ceux et celles qui l'ont connu intimement ou ont posé pour lui complètent ces conversations, pour composer un portrait presque aussi fouillé que ceux magistralement réalisés par Lucian Freud, et illustré d'une soixantaine de photographies et reproductions de ses tableaux.
L'édition de ce livre est très soignée : reliure toile sous jaquette, belle typographie, très lisible, beau papier qui permet une reproduction de qualité. Un complément idéal à l'ouvrage de William Feaver, « Lucian Freud », magnifiquement édité par Rizzoli et qui offre un panorama très complet de l'œuvre du peintre.
Well written, but too much emphasis on the writer, he comes over as a bit of a stalker really.
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Lucian Freud was the middle son of three born to Lucie and Ernst Freud, in Berlin, in 1922. Ernst didn't follow his father into medicine - he became an architect - but Lucian, in a way, followed his father into the arts. The family saw the political "light" rather early on and moved to London in 1933. Did being Jewish in Germany, being German in England, give Lucian a sort of "outsider" mentality that he carried into his work? Beats me; maybe grandpa Sigmund could have given an answer to that. But Sigmund died in England in 1939 and so never knew his grandson past his youthful years.
Young Freud was an "enfant terrible" in his early years as a painter. (Actually, he was an "enfant terrible" his entire life!) Beginning in the 1940's, Freud found growing fame as an artist and also as a lover of women (and in some cases, men). He was married twice and had four children by his first wife. In all, he had 14 "acknowledged" children and possibly more who he never acknowledged. Using birth control was obviously never real high on his list of life priorities; though neither was it high to the six or so women he impregnated. A lackadaisical father - at best - Freud rarely seemed to let the responsibilities of fatherhood impinge on his life or his work. Several of his children posed for him - in some cases, nude - and while the "ick" factor is pretty high there, none of the kids seemed to find anything amiss. He was close to some of this lovers and wives and distant with others. Some family members had his private telephone number and others didn't. He was probably closer to his bookies - he was an prodigious gambler - and many of his business deals involved selling paintings to pay off his debts. He also used his bookies as portrait subjects.
Lucian Freud actually used a lot of different people as subjects. Another excellent book on Freud and his art is "Man With a Blue Scarf: On Sitting for a Portrait by Lucian Freud", by Martin Gayford, is still in print and well-worth reading. And his portraits... One of my greatest personal joys was seeing the massive exhibit of Freud's work at London's "National Portrait Gallery" after his death in 2011. No paintings in a book, no matter how well reproduced, can approach the vividness of seeing the work on the museum's walls. Many of his paintings are huge and can capture the eye and the mind for hours.
Okay, Lucian Freud lived an unconventional life. Still seducing young women, he fathered his last child at the age of 62 with a woman younger than many of his older children. He was secretive to the max and lived in a fairly furtive manner. He squashed the publication of two biographies and his fellow artists and family and friends all knew not to talk to the press. So how did this book get written?
Geordie Greig is a journalist and editor of the "Tatler" and a life-long art lover. He had been following Freud's career since he had been a student at Eton, and was looking for a way to meet the reclusive painter. In the mid-1990's he approached Freud by letter and Freud agreed to meet with him. This one meeting in a private room in a public cafe that Freud used as his breakfast shop resulted in a 15 or so year friendship. Freud openly talked about his life, work, and loves with the proviso that a book could be written using the material and published after his death. (In case you're wondering, Gayford's book is more about "sitting" for Freud than about Freud's life. That book was published before Freud's death).
The only complaint I have about Greig's book is the lack of many photos of Lucian Freud's work. I assume it was a matter of not getting "rights" to publish them but it's a bit disappointing not to see the pictures the author refers to in the text. But I think a site like "Wiki images" may have some. I remember many of the paintings from the 2012 exhibit in London. One painting that isn't in the book - but referred to - and probably the reader should try to find is "The Brigadier", which is a portrait of Andrew Parker Bowles. Parker Bowles - the first husband of Camilla Parker Bowles, Prince Charles's wife - is a heavy-weight in his own world and the subject of a Freud painting that shows a man at ease with his own power. It's quite stunning.
Georgie Grieg's book is well worth reading for its intimate look at a great painter. Greig and Freud may have become friends in Freud's later years, but Greig writes a powerful book about Freud's whole life.