Uncommon Lucian Freud portrait of Guinness heir goes up for auction

Uncommon Lucian Freud portrait of Guinness heir goes up for auction

Artist’s 1956 painting hung in legendary condominium in Wicklow mountains for 1/2 a century

Lucian Freud’s Head of a Boy

‘A jewel of a painting’: Lucian Freud’s Head of a Boy.
Photo: Sotheby’s

A delicate and now not most ceaselessly seen portrait of a boy by Lucian Freud that hung in a legendary Irish condominium tucked away in the Wicklow mountains for additional than 50 years is to delight in a examine auction for the first time.

The 1956 painting, Head of a Boy, is of Garech Browne, the effectively off Guinness heir who grew to turn correct into a patron of Irish arts and music and hosted wild, comely, occasions at the fairytale-esque Guinness home and estate.

Browne changed into as soon as 16 when he sat for the 34-year-weak Freud at Luggala. The outcome changed into as soon as “a jewel of a painting”, per Tom Eddison, a recent art specialist at Sotheby’s inLondon.

“It’s a long way amusing with Freud, you don’t with out a doubt get a grip of how fair he changed into as soon as unless you peruse these items in person, especially these works from the Fifties which you don’t peruse very most ceaselessly.

“It’s a long way so actual and so superbly accomplished. It’s a long way a extraordinarily unparalleled painting, a extraordinarily gentle and comely portrait,” he acknowledged.

Freud first visited Luggala along with his then spouse, Kitty Garman, in the Forties when Browne’s mother, the socialite Oonagh Guinness, reigned supreme. Freud and Garman had been to divorce and the artist married into the household, eloping to Paris with Browne’s cousin Woman Caroline Blackwood in 1953.

Freud and the younger Browne had been kindred spirits, with the artist sneaking him in to Soho ingesting holes. He launched him to figures corresponding to Francis 1st Baron Beaverbrook, who grew to turn correct into a lifelong buddy, and took him on an educative day out round the Louvre in Paris.

As an grownup, Browne grew to turn correct into a wanted patron of the Irish arts, organising Claddagh Records in 1959, which championed the band The Chieftains as effectively as poets along side Seamus Heaney.

Occasions at Luggala, an 18th-century gothic-inspired hunting lodge, had been the stuff of fable. They attracted Hollywood actors, politicians, poets, artists, rock stars and hangers-on. The Beatles took acid there; Kofi Annan loved nation walks in the two,000-hectare (5,000-acre) estate. Various names in the Luggala guestbook encompass Brendan Behan, Marianne Faithfull, Mick Jagger, John Danger, Dennis Hopper, Charlotte Rampling and Michael Jackson, who reportedly extinct Luggala as a hideaway for six weeks in 2006, quickly after being acquitted of puny one molestation prices.

Browne, the closing custodian of Luggala, died in London closing March, worn seventy eight.

The portrait is effectively identified but puny seen. It changed into as soon as integrated in Freud’s blockbuster 1974 retrospective at London’s Hayward Gallery and a 2008 model in Dublin but otherwise has hung in Luggala’s sitting room for additional than 50 years.

“It’s a long way so amazing,” acknowledged Eddison. “While you happen to’re a Freud geek love me, when you perceive of these artwork but never with out a doubt peruse them … when you peruse them for the first time it is the kind of extremely fantastic thing.”

The work is Freud’s 2d are trying at painting Browne after the first changed into as soon as damaged in a fireplace at Luggala.

At 18cm by 18cm, it is a small, intense painting, the same in dimension to Boy Smoking (1950-fifty one), in the Tate series; and Freud’s 1952 painting of 1st Baron Beaverbrook that changed into as soon as in the Tate series but stolen whereas on relate in Berlin in 1988. Remarkably, it has but to be recovered.

Head of a Boy will likely be supplied at Sotheby’s contemporary art sale on 5 March with an estimate of £four.5m-£6.5m.

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February 6, 2019

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