The Easel

Celia Paul Redefines the Artist’s Model

A review of Celia Paul’s memoir, for once not smothered in Lucien Freud anecdotes. Portraiture is a central part of her work. “When Freud looked at Paul, she felt reduced; when Paul looks at her subjects, they are exalted. Her painting is not an act of close observation—she’s seen these people before—but some deeper communion with the person she’s aiming to fix on canvas.”