About this artwork

Auerbach mainly paints landscapes and townscapes in the Camden Town area of London, and portraits of a few close friends and relatives. This is a portrait of his wife, Julia Wolstenholme, who Auerbach met at the Royal College of Art in London. Auerbach is noted for his use of extremely thick, impasto paint. Yet here the majority of the paint is thinner and more diluted, which contrasts to a few areas where it is thick and tangible. Overall the appearance created is of a bold, vibrant portrait.

  • title: Portrait of Julia
  • accession number: GMA 5114
  • artist: Frank AuerbachEnglish (born 1931)
  • gallery: In Storage
  • object type: Painting
  • subject: Abstract
  • date created: 1992
  • measurements: (framed: 62.70 x 67.30 x 4.50 cm)
  • credit line: Accepted by H.M. Government in lieu of Inheritance Tax on the Estate of Gerda Boehm and allocated to the Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art 2010
  • copyright: © FRANK AUERBACH, COURTESY MARLBOROUGH FINE ART
  • photographer: Antonia Reeve

Frank Auerbach

Frank Auerbach

Born in Berlin, Auerbach left Nazi Germany in 1939 to live in England. After the war he settled in London. In 1954 he took over the Camden Town studio of his fellow artist and close friend Leon Kossoff and he has used the same studio ever since. Auerbach has painted mainly landscapes and townscapes in the Camden Town area, and portraits of a few close friends. These friends sit for him regularly every week and have done so for a number of years. Auerbach spends a long time on each painting, making many preliminary drawings. His paintings are characterised by extremely thick layers of paint. Although this has the appearance of accumulating over several months, the artist regularly scrapes off all the paint to start afresh.