The ordeal of sitting for my father Lucian Freud

The frontispiece of this book is Lucian Freud’s portrait of his daughter Rose naked on a bed. Rose says that when her father asked her to sit, which she had long hoped he would do, she naturally assumed he would want her naked, but asked him not to paint her hairy legs. He, in turn, asked her to remove her mascara, but she refused. When she saw the canvas she was shocked at how much it focused on her vulva, but she did not object. She sat for him at night – he had other sitters during the day – and he sometimes gave her purple hearts to keep awake.

Picture study: Second Self, by Chloë Ashby, reviewed

Having established a name for herself as a talented art critic for the national press, Chloë Ashby employs her expertise with illuminating effect in her fiction. In her first novel, Wet Paint, she used the uncomfortable gaze of the barmaid in Manet’s ‘A Bar at the Folies-Bergère’ to explore how her protagonist sees and is seen. In her new novel, Second Self, the central painting is ‘View of Scheveningen Sands’ by Hendrick van Anthonissen, which again becomes an insightful parallel to the protagonist’s life. Cathy, 35, an art conservationist, is happily married to Noah, 11 years her senior, an academic and authority on international relations. Home is a flat in