by Celia Paul


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A rich, penetrating memoir about the author's relationship with a flawed but influential figure—the painter Lucian Freud—and the satisfactions and struggles of a life lived through art.

One of Britain's most important contemporary painters, Celia Paul has written a reflective, intimate memoir of her life as an artist. Self-Portrait tells the artist's story in her own words, drawn from early journal entries as well as memory, of her childhood in India and her days as a art student at London's Slade School of Fine Art; of her intense decades-long relationship with the older esteemed painter Lucian Freud and the birth of their son; of the challenges of motherhood, the unresolvable conflict between caring for a child and remaining commited to art; of the "invisible skeins between people," the profound familial connections Paul communicates through her paintings of her mother and sisters; and finally, of the mystical presence in her own solitary vision of the world around her.

Self-Portrait is a powerful, liberating evocation of a life and of a life-long dedication to art.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781681374826
Publisher: New York Review Books
Publication date: 11/10/2020
Pages: 216
Sales rank: 89,756
Product dimensions: 6.80(w) x 8.70(h) x 1.10(d)

About the Author

Celia Paul was born in 1959 and studied at the Slade School of Fine Art. Her work has been exhibited internationally and is in the collections of the British Museum, the National Portrait Gallery (London), and the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Her major solo exhibitions include Celia Paul, curated by Hilton Als, at the Yale Center for British Art (2018) and the Huntington Art Museum, San Marino, California (2019); and Desdemona for Celia by Hilton at Gallery Met, New York (2015–16). Her work was included in the group exhibition All Too Human at Tate Britain (2018). She lives and works in London.

Table of Contents

Lucian 15

Linda 29

The House Where I Was Born 43

Lucian 51

Home 121

Being a Mother 139

My Mother 155

My Sisters in Mourning 177

Painter and Model 189

My Studio 193

List of Illustrations 207

Acknowledgements 211

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