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Page last updated at 10:50 GMT, Monday, 6 February 2012

An 'excruciating and fascinating' experience

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An exhibition of Lucian Freud's portraits will open at the National Portrait Gallery on the 9th of February, the first major exhibition since the painter's death in July 2011.

Arts editor Will Gompertz, who has seen the show, describes the artist's "intense scrutiny" of his subjects which transforms into a "fleeting moment" when you see the paintings.

There is something both "monumental and solid", and "light and touching" about the works, he adds.

Author Martin Gayford recalls what it was like sit for a Lucian Freud portrait, which was a "conceptual business" involving a great deal of thought.

The experience, he said, was both simultaneously "excruciating" and "absolutely fascinating".


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