Lucian Freud and a sense of perspective

Really enjoyed getting to the Lucian Freud, Portraits show at the National Portrait Gallery. Though there were not a great many that I had not seen before, at the a Hayward in the eighties, or the Tate in the noughties, still, it was more than just a reconnection with much l loved greats. There was that, of course. The early portraits of Kitty, strange and intimate and flat. The sprawling, angular nakednesses. The closely observed fleshiness’s. All these were as great and engaging,  as I recalled. But as I wandered among the later, beyond Bowrey massives, I was struck, again and again, by the pronounced sense of perspective.

Stood before Benefits Supervisor Sleeping, I felt an enormous sense of place, and the physical position of Freud, as he stood before her, became almost obsessive for me. Like Holbein’s Ambassadors, where I stood, had an effect, on what I saw. I went back, and looked at Leigh Bowry, naked on the floor, one exaggerated leg pointing up from an oddly angled mattress. When I stood close, by his foot, the mattress seemed right, and I felt, intimately close to this naked giant.


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