Lucian Freud’s Interior In Paddington, painted in 1951, is a grand English genre portrait featuring his friends and associates along with the British gentry. The portrait depicts Freud’s friend Harry Diamond and was awarded an Arts Council prize at the 1951 Festival of Britain. It features the technical precision that Freud was known for in portraying the human figure.
The painting is located at the Walker Art Gallery in Liverpool, UK, and employs a cinematographic angle and upward perspective to capture the scene. The central figure in this painting is Diamond; surrounding him are other men from diverse social classes, including military regiments. A recurring theme in Freud’s work is his fascination with powerful people – two men wearing military uniforms can be observed on either side of Diamond. The depiction has a sense of pageantry and grandeur while presenting itself as a celebration of human diversity.
In addition to Harry Diamond, there are two more figures visible in the painting: Anne Dunn – Freud’s first wife – smoking a cigarette by her own reflection in the mirror with Patsy Southgate? sitting next to her holding an Infinite Sadness box which adds another layer to this complex piece by portraying grief through facial expression via Southgate holding onto this memento mori object. Overall, Interior In Paddington immortalizes individuals not just through technical proficiency but also due to their psychological depths being presented as multi-layered portraits rather than mere snapshots of their physical appearance.