Juliet Yardley Mills (J.Y.M.) was a professional model at Sidcup college of Art when she and Auerbach met in 1956. Capable of sustaining awkward poses for many hours, she went on to sit for the artist for well over thirty years, travelling to the studio every Wednesday and Sunday without fail. Their familiarity and mutual lack of inhibition during sittings led to some of Auerbach’s most experimental and extreme portraits.
Head of J.Y.M. II
Date of work
Born in 1931 in Berlin to Jewish parents, Auerbach was sent to England in 1939 to escape Nazism. After studying in a number of art schools, including the Royal College of Art, he moved to Camden, where he has lived and painted in the same studio since the 1950s. Frank Auerbach’s paintings are some of the most resonant, inventive and perpetually alive works of art of the twentieth and twenty-first centuries. Since his early works, his intentions have been consistent: ‘To record the life that seemed to me to be passionate and exciting and disappearing all the time’.