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Breakfast with Lucian is a superb, flawlessly crafted portrait of about as messy a life as was ever lived...out of which emerged the greatest British painter of the past one hundred years.’ Tom Wolfe

For ten years Geordie Greig was among a very small group of friends who regularly met Lucian Freud for breakfast at Clarke’s restaurant on Kensington Church Street. Over tea and the morning papers, Freud would recount stories of his past and discuss art. It was, in effect, Freud’s private salon.

In this kaleidoscopic memoir, Greig remembers Freud’s stories: of death threats; escaping from Nazi Germany; falling out with his brother Clement; loathing his mother; painting David Hockney; sleeping with horses; escaping the Krays; painting the Queen; his controversial role as a father; and why Velázquez was the greatest painter. It is revelatory about his art, his lovers, his children, his enemies and his love of gambling. Freud dared never to do dull, speaking candidly of dancing with Garbo as well as painting Kate Moss naked.

Those closest to him, after decades of silence and secrecy, have spoken frankly about what life was like living, loving or sitting for the greatest figurative portraitist of the twentieth century. Partly based on hours of taped conversations with the artist and his circle, and drawing on interviews with those who knew Freud intimately – including many girlfriends, models, dealers and bookmakers – Breakfast with Lucian is an intimate portrait of the artist as a young and old man. Illustrated with many unseen photographs of Freud, it is a uniquely fascinating, personal and authoritative account of one of the greatest British painters of this century and the last, and a profile of a man who makes everyone else's life seem less lived.

Reviews

Geordie Greig has written a gripping, elegant and original book, shapely and full of unexpected matter. It will surely establish him as a master biographer.

V. S. Naipaul

Geordie Greig has written an extraordinary, candid book which is at times intensely shocking and at other times even more intensely moving.

Antonia Fraser

Insightful, gossipy, funny, a bit shocking… The most entertaining biography I have read in a long time.

Philip Kerr, Daily Mail

Breakfast with Lucian is a superb, flawlessly crafted portrait of about as messy a life as was ever lived...out of which emerged the greatest British painter of the past one hundred years.

Tom Wolfe

A must for lovers of that extraordinary artist.

Sunday Telegraph

Its appeal comes from its intimacy.

David Robinson, Scotsman

In this frank memoir, the British journalist Georgie Greig recounts his regular meetings with Freud.

Apollo

Startlingly frank.

Nick Curtis, Evening Standard

Both tender biography and blunt revelation. In that it is the first to reveal the man and the essential symbiosis of heterosexual obsession…with the messy business of painting, it is the most important book yet written on Freud.

Brian Sewell, Evening Standard

A riveting anecdotal portrait… Everywhere there are fascinating nuggets… A fond, fair-minded, thankfully non-judgmental and pretty full portrait of a person shaped around the people – and most saliently the lovers – who came into his life.

Rachel Campbell-Johnston, The Times

Greig has penetrated deep into the labyrinth of Freud’s private life. The result is a gripping page-turner about an endlessly fascinating and extraordinary man.

Lynn Barber, Sunday Times

Compelling and fascinating… It is a book fill of clues – generous with routes to an understanding of this massively difficult and hugely gifted individual.

William Boyd, Mail on Sunday

[It] will be on many an art lover's Christmas list this year.

Mary Lussiana, Country & Town House

Fond and faintly disturbing.

Nicky Haslam, Spectator

A rattlingly readable effort... Greig does a fine job revealing tales one suspects the artist may have wished to keep private.

Alastair Smart, Telegraph

Anybody with an ear for a good story, never mind an eye for fine art, will be beguiled.

Hephzibah Anderson, Mail on Sunday

Greig's fascinating, intimate biography of Lucian Freud was a revelation. Every question I had about Freud – from the aesthetic to the intrusively gossipy – was answered with great candour and judiciousness… Wry, dry and completely beguiling.

William Boyd, Guardian

[Greig’s] perceptive observations and eagle’s eye for detail immediately drew me in.

Rebecca Wallersteiner, Vantage

The Freud who emerges in this account is a slippery figure, not only for journalists who tried to explain him but also for his intimates.

New Yorker

Mr Greig's is a compelling portrait of a complete amoralist who became a monstre sacré.

The Economist

Greig’s portrait glimmers with his eye for the telling detail.

Robert Collins, Sunday Times

A mesmerising book, seamlessly crafted, totally absorbing, and impossible to put down.

The Tablet

A very readable and enjoyable book, full of salacious detail of the artist and his fascinating life.

Julia Weiner, Jewish Chronicle

This intimate biography of Lucian Freud spares no blushes in its account of one of Britain's greatest painters, tracing his life and work through candid revelations about his views on art, relationships and family.

Charlotte Mullins, Art Quarterly

Building up brush stroke by brush stroke, Greig has produced a three-dimensional study of equal candour. Part demon, part genius, it is an absorbing portrait of the complexity of a strange human character.

Peter Lewis, Daily Mail

An unapologetic mixture of intelligent perception and high gossip... It is, overall, more revealing than anything about [Freud] yet written.

Frances Spalding, Guardian

I am captivated by this fascinating memoir... It's an extraordinary read.

Barbara Taylor Bradford, Daily Mail

Candid and intelligent.

Spear's

A gripping, page-turning vision of Lucian Freud that penetrates deep into the artist's private life.

Sunday Times Online

Utterly engrossing and lavishly illustrated

Mail on Sunday

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Formats & editions

  • Paperback

    9780099572763

    March 2, 2015

    Vintage

    272 pages

    RRP $45.00

    Online retailers

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    • Angus & Robertson Bookworld
    • Booktopia
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    Find your local bookstore at booksellers.org.au

  • Hardback

    9780224096850

    October 1, 2013

    Jonathan Cape

    272 pages

    RRP $59.99

    Online retailers

    • Abbey's Bookshop
    • Angus & Robertson Bookworld
    • Booktopia
    • Boomerang Books
    • Collins Booksellers
    • Dymocks
    • Books Kinokuniya
    • The Nile
    • QBD
    • Readings
    • Robinsons Bookshop
    Or

    Find your local bookstore at booksellers.org.au

  • EBook

    9781448138760

    October 3, 2013

    Vintage Digital

    272 pages

    Online retailers

    • iBooks
    • Amazon Kindle
    • Booktopia
    • eBooks
    • Google Play
    • Kobo
    Or

    Find your local bookstore at booksellers.org.au

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