In the words of The Times, ‘A colossus of art’ has died. The painter, Lucian Freud, 88, has died, his family announced yesterday. A figurative painter, widely recognised as Britain’s finest, and one that held the world record for the highest ever price paid for a work by a living artist, for his portrait of Sue Tilley, called ‘Benefits officer sleeping’ which sold for £17million.
Although his subjects were nearly always friends, family members and unknown characters (and himself) he did once or twice venture into the territory of showbiz and fashion – when he painted Kate Moss in 2002, while she was pregnant. He also painted Jerry Hall, also pregnant in 1997. The title of the piece was ‘Eight Months Gone’
Although he wasn’t one for being seen out and about at events or being razzy, he was always impeccably turned out, and usually wore his trademark white cravat. Last night The Wolseley in London had a black cover and single candle burning at his usual table.