Lucian Freud Portraits

© David Dawson
© David Dawson

David Dawson: Working with Lucian Freud

A combination of art and photography. An extraordinary insight into the notoriously private world of the painter Lucian Freud through the eyes of his model and studio assistant David Dawson. The exhibition features Dawson's remarkably intimate photographs of the artist at work as well as his own rarely-seen paintings of the street outside his studio in Kensal Rise, placing them alongside etchings by Freud himself.

During 20 years as Freud's assistant, model, and friend, David Dawson was witness to the creation of some of the most celebrated paintings of our age. His unique access led to the development of a portfolio of strikingly intimate photographs of Freud which have become iconic works in their own right.

Dawson was one of Freud's most consistent models and he is the subject of the artist's final work - an unfinished nude portrait with Dawson's whippet, Eli - which will feature alongside 100 other works spanning 70-year career at the National Portrait Gallery (9 February to 27 May 2012).

David Dawson: Working with Lucian Freud
28th January 2012 – 20th May 2012


On Wedesday 8th February I attended the preview afternoon with other members of the National Portrait Gallery. What a wonderful exhibition, from his earlist works, surreal and finely painted with sable brushes. To hog hair brushes and very graphic brush strokes. Dedicated to portraiture, Freud develped to larger works incorporating backgrounds, old chairs, beds and piles of rags that he cleaned his brushes. He created poses that made each portrait fresh, changing viewing angles and lighting, hard to soft. To produce such works for seventy years not only required skill and patience but pure love of the medium. An exhibition that will inspire both photographers and artists alike. Not to be missed!



My book, Great War Portraits, is available to buy now

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Dr. Richard S Grayson