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"An extraordinary record of a great artist in his studio, it also describes what it feels like to be transformed into a work of art." --ARTnews Lucian Freud (1922-2011), widely regarded as the greatest figurative painter of our time, spent seven months painting a portrait of the art critic Martin Gayford. The daily narrative of their encounters takes the reader into that most private place, the artist's studio, and to the heart of the working methods of this modern master--both technical and subtly psychological. From this emerges an understanding of what a portrait is, but something else is also created: a portrait, in words, of Freud himself. This is not a biography, but a series of close-ups: the artist at work and in conversation at restaurants, in taxis, and in his studio. It takes one into the company of the painter for whom Picasso, Giacometti, and Francis Bacon were friends and contemporaries, as were writers such as George Orwell and W. H. Auden. The book is illustrated with many of Lucian Freud's other works, telling photographs taken by David Dawson of Freud in his studio, and images by such great artists of the past as van Gogh and Titian who are discussed by Freud and Gayford. Full of wry observations, the book reveals the inside story of how it feels to pose for a remarkable artist and become a work of art.
The fruits of a lifetime of experience by a cultural colossus, Philippe de Montebello, the longest-serving director of the Metropolitan Museum of Art in its history, distilled in conversations with an acclaimed critic Beginning with a fragment of yellow jasper--all that is left of the face of an Egyptian woman who lived 3,500 years ago--this book confronts the elusive questions: how, and why, do we look at art? Philippe de Montebello and Martin Gayford talked in art galleries or churches or their own homes, and this book is structured around their journeys. But whether they were in the Louvre or the Prado, the Mauritshuis of the Palazzo Pitti, they reveal the pleasures of truly looking. De Montebello shares the sense of excitement recorded by Goethe in his autobiography--"akin to the emotion experienced on entering a House of God"--but also reflects on why these secular temples might nevertheless be the "worst possible places to look at art." But in the end both men convey, with subtlety and brilliance, the delights and significance of their subject matter and some of the intense creations of human beings throughout our long history.
This chronicle of the two months in 1888 when Paul Gauguin shared a house in France with Vincent Van Gogh describes not only how these two hallowed artists painted and exchanged ideas, but also the texture of their everyday lives. Includes 60 B&W reproductions of the artists' paintings and drawings from the period.