Purple hearts

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.