This painting is one of a number of paintings of Mornington Crescent Auerbach made, capturing it in different seasons, times of day and from various viewpoints. Auerbach felt that these paintings were more personal than mere topography painting, remarking ‘I feel London is this raw thing ... This extraordinary, marvellously unpainted city where whenever somebody tries to get something going they stop halfway through, and next to it something incongruous occurs ... this higgledy-piggledy mess of a city.’
Chimney in Mornington Crescent - Winter Morning
All Too Human: Bacon, Freud and a Century of Painting Life
Date of work
Original: Oil paint on canvas 143.2 x 133 cm Private Collection © Frank Auerbach, courtesy Marlborough Gallery
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’.