Bloomsbury has acquired world rights in a biography of the late artist Lucian Freud, penned by his friend, former Observer art critic William Feaver.
Editor-in-chief Alexandra Pringle bought world rights at a four-way auction from Deborah Rogers at Rogers, Coleridge & White, with the book, The Life of Lucian Freud, to be published in 2015.
Feaver and Freud became friends in the 1970s, and he originally started working on a biography—with Freud’s co-operation—in the 1990s, but shelved it at his subject’s request in 2001. Feaver said: "The book will convey Freud's voice preserved, in all its cadences, wit and caustic asides, but also be an account of how his work came about and how his life affected others."
Pringle said: "It's an extraordinary meeting of subject and biographer because of the relationship between William Feaver and Lucian Freud that went on for so many years. He's got Lucian Freud's voice recorded for so many hours and no one else has that. It will be the book on Freud.
Shed added: "I feel more than anything that this is a book of history. I think the only artist whose life would be so interesting is Picasso. All of his life is a revelation."