Lucian Freud’s portrait of restaurateur Wolseley walking under the hammer

A portrait of Lucian Freud by famed restaurateur Jeremy King, co-founder of The Wolseley, is expected to fetch £300,000 at auction.

His entertainer dined at the Mayfair restaurant almost every night for the last eight years of his life and often sat with Mr King, talking about “his family, his friends, the past, either by singing, or saying nothing at all.” chief”.

Mr King said: “Ever since Lucian started joining The Caprice in the ’80s, he’s always been a part of my world, but it wasn’t until The Wolseley came out in 2003 that I really got to know him. he.


Lucien Freud’s portrait of Wolseley restaurateur Jeremy King (Sotheby’s/PA)

“That’s where he’s going to make his home for the next eight years, and over time, he’s become the only person I sit with in the restaurant other than my immediate family.

“He comes six, sometimes seven times a week for dinner, usually after the bench, usually with a model, but I never could have dreamed I would be one of them.”

“I sat with him for a total of five years, first painting and then sketching, usually two mornings a week, and almost always going out for breakfast.

“I think we were drawn to both by being quite independent people, both excellent observers, and there is no better place to watch the world go by than the great coffee shop The Wolseley .”

Mr King said that Freud was one of the “most honest people” he had ever met and that his “lucky enough” time with him had “enriched” his life to its fullest.


Mayor of London Sadiq Khan and Ros Morgan, visit cafe restaurant The Wolseley, with co-owner Jeremy King (right), (Yui Mok/PA)

Freud invited Mr King to his studio twice a week for three years but had yet to finish engraving his bronze disc, titled Head Of Jeremy King, when he died in July 2011.

On the night after Freud died, a black tablecloth was placed on the table in his corner at The Wolseley with a candle burning in his memory and the ice cream dessert later named as Coupe Lucian in his honor.

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The portrait brings together “two absolute masters of their respective art,” said Oliver Barker, President of Sotheby’s Europe.

He continued: “Freud is as much a social commentator as an artist, and he has nothing to lose in arguing that King’s restaurants were the ultimate melting pot of their time, with King – the commander at the center of it all – is a natural subject. for one of his portraits.

“While in the restaurant world, chefs often receive acclaim, there may be few restaurateurs or hoteliers more highly regarded than Jeremy King.

“The portrait offered at Sotheby’s is an entirely personal work, one that speaks of a lasting friendship and a fitting encounter.

“The fact that Freud is determined to continue preparing this portrait until his last days is like a statement of his intention to remain a working artist until the end, for it reflects his desire to continue to spend precious time with his friend.

“Although we will never know what Freud’s intended engraving will look like, this bright bronze, full of the artist’s meticulous scratches and chalk marks – worked for three years – was an artistic success in its own right, and marked the culmination of Freud’s extraordinary seven-decade career. “

The portrait will be offered for sale directly from the Jeremy King collection on October 15 as part of a contemporary art day sale. Lucian Freud’s portrait of restaurateur Wolseley walking under the hammer

Fry Electronics Team

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