Ink and Icon: The Story of Kate Moss’s Lucian Freud Tattoo
Lifestyle2 Minutes Read

Ink and Icon: The Story of Kate Moss’s Lucian Freud Tattoo

November 13, 2023 Share

Lucian Freud and Kate Moss – a friendship culminating in £3.5m painting, a biopic and a tattoo.

In a world where fashion flirts with art, few stories are as compelling as the one involving supermodel Kate Moss and celebrated painter Lucian Freud. It’s almost surreal to imagine these icons, each a master in their own realm, existing in the same era, let alone crossing paths.

Image courtesy of Hazlitt Holland-Hibbert

But who are they?

It is almost surprising that Kate Moss, the epitome of 90s glamour and a trailblazer in the fashion industry, is still making headlines. Best known for her waifish figure and striking features, Moss became the face of the “heroin chic” era, redefining beauty standards and dominating the fashion world. Moss has been both lauded and criticized, yet she remained (and remains!) unfazed, making her a muse for designers, artists, and photographers, inspiring countless works with her distinct style and unapologetic presence.

In turn, Lucian Freud is a giant in the art world. Renowned for his intense, raw portraits that captured more than just the physical likeness of his subjects, Freud’s work is celebrated for its psychological depth and unflinching realism. His approach to art was as unconventional as it was captivating.

Image courtesy of Beyond Magazine

A Chance Encounter

The paths of Moss and Freud crossed unexpectedly, marking the beginning of a unique friendship. Moss, at the height of her fame, was intrigued by the prospect of being painted by Freud, a rarity given his general indifference to celebrity subjects. They often met at Freud’s Holland Park Studio, forging a deep, personal connection intermingled with artistic interest, that culminated in one of his life paintings selling for £3.5m at Christie’s.

This bond, despite its peculiarity, culminated in a remarkable gesture: Freud offering to tattoo Moss. The tattoo, featuring a pair of elegant swallows near her spine, was symbolic on multiple levels and represented their individual styles and the fusion of their artistic sensibilities. For Moss, this wasn’t just ink on skin; it was a living, breathing piece of art history and a personal memento of her relationship with Freud.

The Story Continues: A Film in the Making

The legacy of this unique friendship and collaboration continues to resonate today, and is set to be immortalized in the upcoming film “Moss and Freud,” a project close to Moss’s heart. With no release date for the biopic, what we know about it is limited. What we do know, however, is that the biopic, directed by James Lucas and starring Ellie Bamber and Derek Jacobi, is already gathering a crowd of eager enthusiasts.

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Author: Laura Scalco
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