The Easel

‘To drag the past into the present and re-animate it’

This great painter has just two subjects – a handful of sitters, who he paints repeatedly, and his own London suburb. The writer, whom Auerbach has painted weekly since 1978, thinks he has done over 60 portraits of her but there is no repetition. “There is an analogy between Auerbach [when painting]… and a great [actor]… unexpectedly inhabiting the character, the performance perhaps unrepeatable”