Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Stolen Identity

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This is my old electronic ticket to Musee Maillol in Paris, purchased the day we discovered that Lucian Freud had stolen Tall Husband's likeness.

Back a few years, Tall Husband and I were walking down the rue de Bac in Paris, when we spotted a discreet sign pointing the way to Musee Maillol, a small art museum/gallery that we like to visit when we are in Paris. At that moment, I remembered reading that Maillol was having an exhibit of British artists, including the big hitters, Lucian Freud and Francis Bacon.

We usually have this small, out-of-the-way museum to ourselves, however, it was crowded with Brits and Frenchmen this day. We strolled through the main exhibit hall, looking slowly and carefully at the paintings. Then suddenly, there loomed before us the life-size painting by Lucian Freud, "Painter and Model." If you have never seen Freud's paintings, suffice it to say that they are realistic to the point of brutality. In spite of this fact, critics term his approach "traditional representational style." The
model in this painting was a nude male, reclining immodestly on an ancient, brown leather sofa. It wasn't his pose that made me gasp audibly. No, the model in the painting was Tall Husband! Though brutally executed, the painting captured Tall Husband's every feature. I was without words and could not take my eyes away from the uncanny likeness. I calmed myself by thinking that Tall Husband would not notice the resemblance.

Then he quietly but firmly said, "We have to leave. Everyone is staring at me." I looked away from the painting and around the room; sure enough, every pair of eyes was fixed on Tall Husband. And in their faces, I saw expressions of disapproval or worse, morbid curiosity.

Now, I have not placed a photo of the offending painting within this post for two reasons: first I do not have permission to use the image and second, Tall Husband would not want you to be shown a nude picture of him. But if you click here on
"Painter and Model," you can find the image of the painting. And I haven't really shown it to you, have I!?


  1. We must have driven by this building a dozen times and never went in! My daughter went to the University of Paris while we were living there and it is on the same street. I also haven't seen much of Lucian Freud's work. When I studied Art history, they seem to gloss over the Brits.
    Boy Tall husband sure is attractive if he looks like that! :)

  2. Hello Elizabeth,
    Do you and your family miss Paris? What a great experience!

    And yes, Tall Husband is a looker for a Grandpa!