Lucian Freud's Rite of Passage
In 1941 the 18-year-old Lucian Freud joined the Merchant Navy and crossed the Atlantic on SS Baltrover. The full story of his voyage is told here for the first time by Sandra Boselli, who argues that it helps to explain two of Freud’s most significant early paintings.
Sandra Boselli, Friday, 18th December 2009
1 William Feaver, Lucian Freud, New York, 2007, pp. 18, 462.
2 William Feaver, Lucian Freud, London, 2002, p. 19.
3 John Russell, introduction to Early Years: Lucian Freud, exh. cat., Hayward Gallery, London, 1974, p. 10.
4 Nicholas Penny, ‘The Early Works (1938-1954)’, in Nicholas Penny and Robert Flynn Johnson, Lucian Freud : Works on Paper, London, 1988, p. 10.
5 Feaver, op. cit. [note 2 above], p. 19.
6 Sebastian Smee & Richard Calvocoressi, Lucian Freud on Paper, London, 2008, p. 20.
7 National Archives, London (nal), BT/389/3 (movements for the Baltrover).
8 Feaver, op. cit. [note 2 above], p. 19.
9 Hyman Dreitman Research Centre, Tate Britain, London.
10 Arnold Hague Convoy Database (www.convoyweb.org.uk/hague/index. html): ref. Convoy OB.298.
11 Feaver, op. cit. [note 1 above], p. 13.
12 nal, bt/1562/39/1 (list of out-going passengers who embarked at Liverpool on the Baltrover and had contracted to land at Halifax), from www.findmypast.com
13 nal, bt 26/1195/79 (list of incoming passengers who embarked at St John’s in Newfoundland on the Baltrover, N°132840), from www.ancestry.co.uk
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