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The Lives of Lucian Freud: Fame by William Feaver

The Lives of Lucian Freud: Fame

Best Seller
The Lives of Lucian Freud: Fame by William Feaver
Hardcover $45.00
Jan 19, 2021 | ISBN 9780525657668

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“The painter’s most creative and flamboyant years are brilliantly captured in the final part of this landmark biography . . . Feaver regales us with personalities and anecdotes until the effect is almost like the “novel” Freud joked that he wanted . . . Detail, quotes, asides, descriptions are thickly layered on to the narrative canvas; there’s a sense that no snippet has been left aside . . . Pictures are studied in detail, the mechanics of the artist’s growing fame — the galleries, the exhibitions, the dealers, the prices — come in for careful reporting . . . Feaver, who [ . . . ] spoke to Freud on the phone most days and was regularly summoned to survey work in progress, writes with insight about the making of the most famous canvases . . . [A] magnificent book.”
—Jan Dalley, The Financial Times

“The second volume of Feaver’s compelling biography reveals the ruthlessness behind the artist’s brilliance . . . [E]xtremely juicy . . . you can hear Freud’s voice on the page.” 
—Rachel Cooke, The Guardian

“A mesmerizing, entertaining account of Freud’s life and art.” 
—Marina Vaizey, The Arts Desk

“The concluding volume of Feaver’s unmissable biography sees the great painter evolving from enfant terrible into Old Devil—although really was a man ever so uncompromisingly himself from cradle to grave? As a life it’s both a horrible warning and a shining example, and Feaver does it justice.”
The Daily Telegraph

“Diverting … Freud played the mischievous bar-room raconteur, chuckling over bygone stunts and scrapes, and sticking the knife into old foes with venomous relish.”
—Alastair Sooke, The Sunday Telegraph

“The first volume of Feaver’s biography of the artist was highly acclaimed. This second one covers his most productive years.” 
The Sunday Times

“The latest installment of the epic biography of Lucian Freud finds him at the height of his fame. An unusually horrible but talented man.”
The Times

“More of the feel of a picaresque novel than would normally be expected of a biographical work.”
—Rachel Campbell Johnston, The Times

“A mesmerizing picture of a paintaholic who was incorrigibly on the make … Feaver’s vastly detailed biography is the ideal companion to Freud’s work. It resembles nothing so much as a large Freud canvas: hypnotic, occasionally reiterative, quirkily dark in places, proceeding by a process of obsessive accretion.” 
—Elizabeth Lowry, The Guardian

“An extremely juicy biography … What’s good about this is that you can hear Freud’s voice on the page, which is thrilling when he’s talking about art … the book bulges with gossipy stuff … he was more vivid than other people – more nervous, more simple, more honest and Feaver’s great and generous achievement in his book is to enable us to imagine this.”
—Rachel Cooke, The Observer

“Does justice to Freud’s pitiless genius as an artist.”
—Ysenda Maxtone Grahame, The Daily Mail

“If Freud’s pictures are at heart all about palpable reality, the same is true of Feaver’ daunting enterprise. His subject – his friend – is selfish, often reprehensible, spoilt and sometimes vicious (not above posting dog faeces through an enemy’s letterbox), but also generous, honest about his failings and capable of inspiring great loyalty in others. David Hockney, another sitter, described Freud’s portraits as being essentially “an account of looking,” and that’s just what Feaver’s book is too.” 
The Sunday Times

“The result is a biography that is as generous and unsparing as Freud’s own best work. At once personally intimate and critically detached, perceptive on the art (his summary of one etching is that the model has “the look of one who rather thought she’d just forgotten something frightfully important”) but never trying to compete with it, Feaver’s biographical portrait is an unforgettable achievement.” 
The Prospect

“The second instalment of a much-lauded biography.” 
—Andrew Holgate, The Sunday Times

“Feaver won plaudits aplenty for the first volume of this intimate biography of his long-time friend, which covers the years 1922-68 and has delighted readers with its ‘high-grade gossip’. The second volume picks up from where he left off, and runs to the painter’s death in 2011.”
—Sophie Barling, Apollo Magazine


The Baillie Gifford Prize LONGLIST 2019

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