A rare glimpse into the artist’s studio
From the knee-deep litter of Francis Bacon to the artful order of Lucian Freud, a new exhibition explores how artists’ workspaces reveal more than their occupants expect
Laid out to impress … Perry Ogden’s photograph of Francis Bacon’s studio. Photograph: Dublin City Gallery, The Hugh Lane/Estate of Francis Bacon
Between them the beautiful boy huddled over a small fire in his icy garret, and the beautiful naked girl stooping in front of window overlooking a tumble of Parisian rooftops, combine almost every popular cliche about what artists get up to behind the closed doors of their studios.
One is a little painting from 1845, by the otherwise almost entirely forgotten 19th-century artist Octave Tassaert, and the other Christopher Nevinson’s 1926 A Studio in Montparnasse. They hang among centuries of artists’ studios captured in paint, film and photographs, in a unique exhibition opening this week at Compton Verney, the country mansion gallery in Warwickshire. Both show us wonderfully plausible lies: the viewer assumes immediately that the poverty and romance of one studio, the glamour and hint of exotic pleasures in the other, must relate to the artists’ own lives. Which just proves how dangerous it is to take what artists say about themselves as the truth.
Read more at The Guardian: A rare glimpse into the artist’s studio