Kitty Godley

May 22nd, 2006

Kitty Godley

My triptych portrait features Mrs Kitty Godley who was the first wife of the artist Lucian Freud. They married in 1948 and he painted her on many occasions, perhaps most memorably in “Girl with white dog” (Tate Britain)

Kitty used to live in the small town of Wednesbury, just outside of my home town, Walsall. She was the daughter of the sculptor Jacob Epstein and Kathleen Garman who along with their friend, Sally Ryan, were avid art collectors. The family donated their art collection to the borough of Walsall in 1972. The Garman Ryan collection is today housed in The New Art Gallery, Walsall and this triptych is part of a series of paintings and drawings which I am making of Kitty nearly 60 years later for an exhibition at the gallery next year.

I wanted the portraits to be very natural, as if in conversation with thoughts being visibly absorbed and formulated. During a conversation our expressions and physiognomy are constantly changing and I thought that a triptych would be the perfect format to explore this idea. The feel of the portrait was inspired by John Freeman’s “Face to Face” television interview series from the 1960’s. It was filmed in black and white and the camera scrutinised the interviewee in intense, microscopic detail from different angles which I have tried to echo in this painting.

Andrew Tift

Entry Filed under: Art

1 Comment

  • 1. Andrew  |  June 23rd, 2006 at 12:18 pm

    Congratulations on winning the BP Portrait Award!
    BP Awards


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