Belfast Telegraph

Wednesday 17 September 2014

Freud model mourns artist's death

The art world is mourning Lucian Freud, who has died aged 88, seen here in his work Self Portrait with a Black Eye
The Queen shakes hands with Lucien Freud before lunch for members of the Order of Merit at Buckingham Palace

A former muse of artist Lucian Freud has expressed her sadness at the news of his death at the age of 88.

The British painter, a towering figure in the industry for more than 50 years, died after an illness.

In a statement on Thursday, Diana Rawstron, who had represented Freud for many years, said: "Lucian Freud, artist, born 8 December 1922 in Berlin, died peacefully last night at his home in London."

Sue Tilley, who sat for the nude Benefits Supervisor Sleeping, said she has had "fantastic experiences" as a result of posing for the unflattering portrait.

She said: "I found out last night on Twitter, bizarrely, and I did start crying. I haven't seen him for a long time and he's not really a close friend now but it's a part of my life that's kind of gone."

Ms Tilley has etchings that Freud gave to her, which are potentially worth thousands of pounds, but says that money is not an issue.

"Money's not really important. Don't you think in life sometimes experience is more important than financial gain? Because of this painting I've had fantastic experiences."

The portrait is characteristic of Freud's unflinching style, but Ms Tilley said she watched the work being painted and so became acclimatised to it. She said: "I saw it all the time because it's so huge, you would see it while he was painting it. He's not behind it, so it's in front of you the whole time, so I got very much used to it."

William Acquavella, Freud's New York-based art dealer, said he would mourn Freud "as one of the great painters of the 20th century".

Freud, grandson of psychoanalyst Sigmund Freud and brother of the late television personality Sir Clement Freud, was born in Berlin in 1922. His Jewish family had to flee the city in 1933 and he became a British citizen in 1939.

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