Girl – Lucian Freud, Ordovas, 25 Savile Row, London W1, until 1st August 2015
This is an exquisite exhibition of four small paintings and a selection of archival material and photographs. The subject is Lady Caroline Blackwood; the artist Lucian Freud; the connection is they married in 1953.
Caroline was 18 when they first met in 1949 at a ball and although Freud was separated from his first wife Kitty they were still married. Caroline braved her mother’s (Maureen Dufferin and Ava) disapproval and moved in with Freud at his Paddington studio. He painted her between 1950 and 1956 and while these works are today thought to be tender depictions, at the time he was criticised for making her look older than her years.
In 1952 Caroline and Lucian eloped to Paris and lived there for a year and then in 1953 they married at the Chelsea Register Office on London’s Kings Road. However the marriage was to be short-lived as Freud’s gambling and reckless behaviour led to its collapse. She moved to New York to study acting and became a well-known author but the bond between them lasted until her death in 1996.
Two of the paintings on show Girl in Bed and Girl Reading were both painted in 1952 while Girl by the Sea, 1956, was the last painting Freud did of Caroline and in fact he just finished it before their break-up. Recently completed research has revealed that it was painted in Pedregalejo near Malaga, Spain. What added to Caroline’s beauty were her big blue-green eyes and the fourth painting (The Sisters, 1950) in the exhibition eloquently depicts one of them.
Try not to miss this!