I have just watched a really good programme about Lucien Freud (grandson of Sigmund) which was both an excellent tv programme and very interesting as well. There was no intrusive music, no jiggly camerawork, no stupid commentary - it was called 'Sitting for Lucien Freud' and it was people - mostly friends and family - who had sat for him talking about what it was like, what he was like, and about the portraits.
Numerous offspring were there - Wikipedia lists 13, many of whom were on the programme - and although a distant and unconventional father, his paintings and his obvious commitment to them was apparent throughout.
The portraits show how much of the person can be shown by a painting in the way a photo can't. Especially interesting were portraits of one of the daughters done at different times in her life, and which showed how life was treating her and how she was reacting to it. The Duchess of Devonshire had one done when she was in her 30s and said - very perceptively I thought - that she thought she looked more like it now, in her 80s.
He was clearly a genius, as was his grandfather, and numerous offspring are creative being painters, writers, broadcasters etc. His brother (Clement) was famous as well. Something very strong in the genes in that family. The other odd thing was how alike the daughters on the programme looked even though they had different mothers. A bit weird actually
Now the Prom from last Saturday is on and Gabriel Prokofiev is having a piece performed for turntables and orchestra which Brian has put the sound mute on because he can't stand it. The rest of the concert will be his grandfather Sergei who was a brilliant composer.
Nature versus nurture? Who can tell?