Lucian Freud Story Six - The turf/ the horses the gee gees and staying fit after

Lucian Freud Story Six - the turf the horses the geegees and staying strong after


What was he into what did he do gambling


Gambling was a different thing, a release. And it was only horses it wasn’t the tables, really. By the time I got to know him I could see he was going into full on painting and that’s why I knew I had to be part of this. So the gambling thing was there and every now and again he’d look at the horses on the TV and he’d be on the phone putting some money down on things. Whereas I think in his forties and fifties I think he was much wilder in running around the bookies. He’d gamble everything away until he had absolutely nothing and then he’d paint again. It was a different headspace. By the time I was knowing him where you could see he was into non stop working. Gambling wasn’t a sport for him it was everything. His paintings began increasing in value he had too much money and couldn’t get rid of it. So the one day he just stopped. I think it was that thing that you could not put ridiculously large sums of money on a horse. He woudn’t be happy putting a tenner on hell no. we’re talking vast amounts.  Thousands? Yeah! More and more and more. So he cound’t do it so the day he realised it was a sport and he couldn’t get rid of everything he stopped it. He had this amazing control over his willpower. He thought the only way to be was to try and push your will power – that’s how you painted.




Was he physically fit?

The picture. Well he was careful. He kept his weight down. He stood up all day painting. He didn’t really drink much. He wasn’t a drinker really. He drank Claret. And he ate well. He’d eat a lot of protein in the sense of wild meat, game and fish. And that was it.

On his feet all day painting running up and down the stairs. A good balance.


He wasn’t as boring as Oh I must diet because he was also aware of standing on his feet all day, carrying an extra couple of pounds he would know it.

He was too bright and energised to worry about the pedestrian things like oh, I must diet and all that crap.


So how did he unwind?


He didn’t. he’d have meals with people. A little bit of jazz and he was great friends with Jools Holland.

He didn’t need to unwind, he just lived his life how he wanted to live. So that wasn’t how it worked. But he’d always eat in good restaurants. The Wolselely, Clarks here which he used every day. Whatever restaurant was at its best at the time that’s where he’d be. Wiltons was a great old favourite. Old school. He’d always sit in the inner bit in the Wolseley. The bit in the middle in the top right corner. It’s always the pivotal people who are in the corner.


How would he finish for the day?


He just worked as much as he could do and then he would know that’s in a good place. The trick with painting is never to totally fuck it up. Leave it in a good place  for when you come back to it. That’s what you’ve got to learn as a painter. Leave the painting in a good place. I suppose the relaxation after painting would be to go and have a dinner somewhere and look at other people. I mean be with the sitter but then just watch other people in the restaurant. If  you were the main model he just wanted to know everything about you and be with you and do everything with you. You’re in this ….