Girl in Bed
1 portrait on display in Room 32 at the National Portrait Gallery
© The Lucian Freud Archive / Bridgeman Art Library; private collection; on loan to the National Portrait Gallery, London
Girl in Bed
by Lucian Freud
oil on canvas, 1952
18 in. x 12 in. (457 mm x 305 mm) overall
Lent by a private collection, 2014
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Sitterback to top
- Lady Caroline Maureen Hamilton-Temple-Blackwood (1931-1996), Writer and artist's muse; former wife of Lucian Freud, and later wife of Israel Citkowitz, and Robert T.S. Lowell. Sitter in 10 portraits.
This portraitback to top
Despite most of his portraits being of people with whom he had close relations, Freud often preferred not to disclose the identity of his sitters in the titles of his works. This early portrait, entitled simply Girl in Bed, shows the writer Lady Caroline Blackwood in the Hôtel La Louisiane, where she and Freud stayed after they had eloped to Paris. They married in 1953, but divorced soon after in 1958. The technique of high-scrutiny and 'maximum observation' is typical of Freud's early works, and was later described by the artist as the reason for the occasional 'involuntary magnification' of the features of his sitters, as seen here in Blackwood's large eyes. Blackwood later wrote: 'The results were only half me, I think – after all, it was Lucian's vision. The model does not make a very big contribution'.