A Painter’s Progress: A Portrait of Lucian Freud

ISBN: 9780224097123
Artist(s): David Dawson
Author(s): David Dawson
Format: hardback
Year published: 2014
Publisher: Jonathan Cape
Total Pages: 276
Illustrations: Illustrated throughout in colour

Artist(s) Biographies:


1 available

For nearly twenty years David Dawson was Lucian Freud’s assistant, companion and model. Freud was famously private. He carefully avoided distraction. With few exceptions, he only wanted those he knew well, like the late Bruce Bernard, to photograph him. David Dawson was in a unique position and Freud became comfortable in the presence of his camera. Photographing became part of the daily round of the studio. The results revealed many stages of paintings in progress. Few artists, if any, have had their lives and their work recorded over such a length of time.

Among those who regularly visited Freud were figures from the art world, including John Richardson, David Hockney and Frank Auerbach, along with a flow of models and friends. He was as happy in the company of Kate Moss as he was with the Duke of Beaufort. Despite his sense of privacy, Freud’s circle was wide.

The book begins in Freud’s old studio in Holland Park and then records the artist in his eighteenth-century house, the first floor of which was his final studio. It ends with views of the rooms in which Freud’s own extraordinary collection of paintings was hung. It is the only record of the house before the dispersal of the art on his death.

Ultimately David Dawson’s photographs create an intimate portrait of the man. The final images are of the hanging of Preud’s work in his posthumous London exhibition at the National Portrait Gallery.

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