Sunday, July 05, 2015

Sunday supper with the Duchess of Devonshire (sort of)


While marinating chicken to roast tonight, I suddenly remembered that just a few days ago the Lucian Freud painting Four Eggs on a Plate, a gift to his longtime friend the late Duchess of Devonshire, went up for auction at Sotheby's in London. So, after cleaning up, I had to google the sale. The painting, it turns out (not particularly surprisingly), went for nearly 10 times its auction estimate of 100,000 to 150,000 GBP... seven bidders clamoring until the bidding stopped at a whopping 989,000 GBP. (Nearly $380k per egg... or 4.5 million for a dozen!)

The Duchess famously adored her chickens, which lived on the Chatsworth estate and even joined her on the cover of one of her books, so I couldn't help but let myself tumble down the rabbit hole of images of her with the little creatures. Here, a few of my favorites. There's just something inexplicably charming about the photographs, about the Duchess herself. Clearly something Freud, who painted her several times, felt too.