JOANNA'S FOOD: family cooking, from scratch, every day

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Lucien Freud's fat muse

On the one hand, this painting by Lucien Freud is expected to fetch £18m when it goes to auction shortly; on the other hand, there has been widespread condemnation of the model. I think she's beautiful, happy in her skin. What do you think?

I was alerted to the sale by a thought-provoking post at Lulu's Bay. Full details at Times Online

PS just found this on writer Susan Hill's blog:

What would you rather people today did not do, other than obvious wickedness? Judge people`s characters by how much they weigh.


Celia Hart said...

What an amazing painting - I love how the sofa and the body have the same weighty undulations.

Over the years I've attended many life classes and painted lots of different life models – and curves are what artists love! Todays so-called ideal thin body may look good through a lens and retouched in Photoshop but paint needs substance!!!


Joanna said...

Yes, both rather overstuffed!

But I am particularly struck by the near universal condemnation of the model's size and the record price expected for the painting. Am I imagining that most high-end art collectors are men ... and what does this say about women's desire to be as stick-thin as, say, Victoria Beckham?

I am also struck by how happy she looks - there's a distinct smile on her face. Nothing neurotic about her. I find it very refreshing ....


Amanda at Little Foodies said...

I love it but I'm also a little repulsed by it - only because my mum is that size and I worry for her health. She's disabled and being that overweight and unable to exercise can't be good for her heart.

I detest the whole stick thin loving culture. I find it sad that some people I know would rather be seen smoking to curb their appetite than seen to be eating good food with or infront of their children. What message this gives out I don't like to think.

Let's see how much money the painting makes.

Anonymous said...

As a firm believer in Health At Every Size, I refuse to judge the model by her looks. As long as she's healthy and happy, it's all that matters.

Karen Baking Soda said...

I was going to comment, then read Amanda's...I was going to say exactly the same, my mum is seriously overweight as well so the first thought when seeing the painting was my mum.

I am a smoker....

Lynda said...

Thanks for the link to my blog!

Interesting comments about this post - and mainly from women, although I have many male readers over at LuLu's Bay, none of them have said a peep... what does that mean?

Olive Oyl said...

I suspect, and hope, that the beautiful, articulate, witty, Sue Tilly wouldn't give a rats a*?@ about other peoples condemnation of her. She gave some fantastically entertaining interviews last week, on the Today Programme and Womans Hour and jolly fine company she obviously was too. I'm with you Joanna.

Amanda at Little Foodies said...

Ah but Karin you eat and serve great food to your family. Some of my friends (who don't get me wrong, I love a lot) don't eat... Or atleast if they do, it's in the middle of the night when they think nobody is looking.

lobo said...

Lynda said that no man has said a peep. OK I'll say something. No comments have been made as to the merits of the painting as a painting.
Everything that's been said has all been personalised in relation to the model.
What does that say?
Personally I think it's a painting of little merit. Simply a piece of observation of a subject no more or less interesting than any other subject. The only thing the painter has said is "This is a fat woman lying on a couch". So?
Rubens let his fat ladies do more.