Lucian Freud | Francis Bacon
Dec 14, Francis Bacon and Lucian Freud are likely to go down together in art history. If the link had not already been set in cement, it certainly became. For a quarter of a century Francis Bacon and Lucian Freud saw each other Ahead of the sale of two drawings, we examine the story of their relationship. Bacon working material, John Deakin, Lucian Freud in his studio, ca. Shortly before his death, Bacon described the end of their relationship as 'rather sad'
He struck me as a kind of Viking, with slightly unfathomable qualities. I was conscious of not wanting to be an idiot.
Friends, soulmates, rivals: the double life of Francis Bacon and Lucian Freud
He came into the room trailing clouds of glory. But it is the portrait of Freud that most captivated Dahl. The background is a thick, saturated stippled black. On the bottom left, the oil paint is roughly scumbled to give the impression of stubble.
Francis Bacon and Lucian Freud: a friendship in portraits - Telegraph
On his forehead, the paint is laid on with thick impasto to capture the gleam of the reflected light. And his right eye is caught with an equally thick splash of titanium white paint. And my grandfather looked on it with reverence—he thought Bacon was a genius. It was kept right in the center of the living room, against a light pink wall.
Even the glass is amazingly clear—you feel like you can touch the painting.
Three Studies of Lucian Freud - Wikipedia
Inhis 4-month-old son, Theo, suffered a severe brain injury after being struck by a New York taxi. And, inhis wife, the Oscar-winning actress Patricia Neal, had three burst cerebral aneurysms. Again, Dahl was central in helping with her recovery, retraining her to walk and talk.
But he was certainly interested in what was going on in the mind. He was interested in the fact that Lucian Freud was the grandson of Sigmund Freud. And, with all his art collecting, he thought it was important that you knew about the art, that you knew about the artist, that you knew about the sitter. It helps to put Bacon and Freud at the centre of the late 20th century art scene, not only in Britain, but internationally: Like those giants of late Georgian painting, Bacon and Freud were contemporaries, equals and in some ways opposites.
Yet for a long, long time they were close allies against the world.
We also had lunch. Since Bacon was gay, and Freud had remarkable good looks, one might suspect a romantic element in this bond.
Francis Bacon and Lucian Freud: a friendship in portraits
But Bacon was attracted to older men, a masochist in hopeless pursuit of a suitably dominant partner. Freud, on the other hand, was a notoriously avid pursuer of girls.
The bond between them was different: Though there were other talented painters and sculptors in s Britain, the London art world — in comparison, say, to the Parisian one — was dingy and provincial.
Against this background, Bacon was a figure of magnificent flamboyance: Freud and Bacon were both gamblers, of course.
For them roulette and horse-racing had an almost ethical dimension. Lucian once told me that in the s, a decade when his work was out of fashion and hard to sell, gambling helped him. Did he mean it helped him to make money?
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No, he answered, it helped him not to care too much about money. He remembered one day losing almost everything he had, going home, driving his car to a garage, selling it too, placing the proceeds on a horse, losing that, then going home to paint. It must, I suggested tentatively, feel good when you win.