Auerbach married Julia Wolstenholme in 1958, and she gave birth to their son Jacob (or Jake) later that year. They separated shortly after, and made a final reconciliation in 1976. Painted between 1978 and 1979, Julia Sleeping
is an intimate and engaging portrait of Julia, with her head on a pillow facing him. The painting not only expresses Julia’s presence back at the centre of Auerbach’s life, but also an intense depth of emotion between the artist and his wife.
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’.