Talks & Events
Talk, Book Launch

Naked Portrait: A Memoir of Lucian Freud by Rose Boyt

21 May 2024 7-8.30pm

Freud Museum London
London NW3 5SX


A talk by author and artist Rose Boyt to celebrate the publication of her latest book Naked Portrait: A Memoir of Lucian Freud.

‘Towards the end of the summer of 2016 I found an old diary in a cardboard box, hundreds of typed pages, the first dated 9 September 1989. I put the diary away without reading it; I had lost my father, my mother had died only three months earlier, and it was not the right time to think about anything. I was heartbroken.

As I remembered it the diary was about sitting again, an easy portrait this time, fully clothed, the manuscript mainly a record of my father’s remarkable stories. I imagined all his stories were amusing, uncontentious, but even if that had been true I still would not have been ready. It is unclear to me now how I was able so effectively to distort reality.’

In Naked Portrait Rose Boyt explores her complicated relationship with her beloved father, Lucian Freud, through the diary and other accounts of sitting for him, naked or otherwise. Enthralled by his genius, it was only after his death that she began to question the version of events she had come to accept. The shock of the truth is profound but what emerges is her love and compassion not just for herself as a vulnerable young woman, but for the man himself, who is shown in all his brilliant complexity.


Rose Boyt was born in London and as a child lived on a cargo ship trading in the Baltic and beyond. With her mother and siblings she emigrated to the Caribbean, but the family was repatriated. She left home when she was fifteen and in the seventies began to take photographs and had a Saturday job at the punk shop Seditionaries. In the eighties she worked as a DJ and on the door of the Café De Paris, and is the author of three novels.

Book now


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