Freudian connections


The celebrated portrait painter Lucian Freud who has just died had his Ulster connections, having once been married to the beautiful minor novelist and aristocrat Caroline Blackwood, one of the Guinnesses who was ( barely)  educated at Rockport  school near Holywood.  (Did she trot over from Clandeboye I wonder?). But far more interesting than one of many relationships was one of the subjects of his searing portraits.

At a Freud exhibition several years ago, among the portraits of the ample Sue Tilley, a grumpy Queen and an unusually vulnerable and worn -looking Kate Moss, I stopped short. There on the wall were  couple of portraits of heavy looking men dressed thankfully in tight-fitting suits, described , if memory serves, as undertakers, father and son,  from Antrim Road Belfast and painted I think in the 1960s. And that is exactly what they ought to have looked like. I half meant to track them down but never did. So who are they or were they? Someone knows. Please speak up. We’d love to have your story.

Former BBC journalist and manager in Belfast, Manchester and London, Editor Spolight; Political Editor BBC NI; Current Affairs Commissioning editor BBC Radio 4; Editor Political and Parliamentary Programmes, BBC Westminster; former London Editor Belfast Telegraph. Hon Senior Research Fellow, The Constitution Unit, Univ Coll. London

Living History 1968-74

A unique, once-in-a-lifetime 10-week course at Stranmillis University College Belfast featuring live, in-depth interviews with leading figures from this tumultuous era in Northern Ireland’s cultural and political history.

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