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    Woman Smiling, 1958-59, by Lucian Freud, the only single portrait of Suzy Boyt who was to mother five of the artist’s children, will be sold by Christie’s in London in June.  The auction house say it is the most significant work by Freud to be offered at auction since Benefits Supervisor Sleeping sold at Christie’s New York in May 2008 for $33.6 million – a world record price for a work by a living artist.
    Woman Smiling, is a tender portrait of Freud’s former prize-winning Slade pupil and lover. Their friendship lasted many decades. She appears sitting with bashful eyes, radiating with a youthful smile and projecting the affection that existed between the artist and sitter. As Lucian Freud once said,  ‘Painters who use life itself as their subject-matter…do so in order to translate life into art almost literally, as it were…The painter makes real to others his innermost feelings about all that he cares for’ (L. Freud, ‘Some Thoughts on Painting’ Encounter, July 1954).
    Formerly in the collection of Mrs. Ian Fleming it is being offered as part of an important European private collection where it has been since 1985.  The wife of the James Bond creator was an important early patron of Freud and subject of his paintings. She was the first owner and the seller of Woman Smiling when it last appeared at auction at Christie’s in 1973, selling for £5,040.  Suzy Boyt’s other appearance in a Freud painting is as a character on the right hand side of Interior W11 (After Watteay) painted in the early 1980’s.
    Francis Outred, Head of Post-War and Contemporary Art, Christie’s Europe said Woman Smiling pioneered the style of painting for which Freud is most praised and recognised, using thick, expressionist brushstrokes and swathes of impasto to build a human physicality.  The work is estimated at £3.5 million to £4.5 million.
    At the sale on June 28 Christie’s will offer five drawings by Freud from the collection of Kay Saatchi.
    UPDATE: IT MADE £4,745,250

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