Lucian Freud: A Life by Phaidon

Published by Phaidon, authored by David Dawson, a painter and director of the Lucian Freud Archive and Mark Holborn, an editor and book designer (Richard Avedon, Issey Miyake, James Turrell etc.), A Life traces painter Lucian Freud’s life through rare photographs.

His piercing eyes on the cover appear as a metaphor for his whole life: full of passion, carnal instincts, and artistic rigour. Family photos, images in his studio with some of his most celebrated sitters including Francis Bacon and David Hockney are featured in this beautiful book; paintings of which also illustrate some of the chapters. Organised by decades, the book examines Freud’s early years in Berlin as a child, before the family relocated to England to flee Nazi Germany, to the apogee of his career as a painter during the second half of the 20th century.

Dawson was Freud’s studio assistant, model, companion from 1991 until the painter’s death. He carefully supervised the production of this title. The publication of this remarkable book coincided with the exhibition Lucian Freud: The Self-Portraits staged at the Royal Academy of Arts in London in October 2019.