Lucian Freud

A passion for India

The Ashmolean's new exhibition of Indian art from the private collection of Howard Hodgkin is inspired by his love of the country

Picture preview: Lucian Freud drawings

This week an exhibition of British painter Lucian Freud's drawings opens at the Blain|Southern gallery in London, staged to coincide with the major exhibition of his work at the National Portrait Gallery.

The Diary: Lucian Freud; Andrew Lloyd Webber; Lily Allen; Pascal

Could Lucian Freud be relenting on his reclusive stance? To mark his retrospective at Paris' Pompidou Centre the famously private artist agreed to be filmed by Tim Meara. But the 15-minute short, Small Gestures in Bare Rooms, is far from the usual biographical trawl. Rather Meara has spoken to Freud's sitters and created a series of "silent portraits" based on their reminiscences. There are close-ups of Freud's old Holland Park studio, complete with iron bedstead and paint-spattered boots and shots of a sharp-eyed Freud walking along the canal in Little Venice, with a kestrel perched on his arm (he kept birds of prey in his studio in the 1940s). Meara never expected Freud to appear in the film, but the artist was glad of the chance to rediscover old haunts. "He had a really nice time. We just allowed him to have a wander by the canal," says Meara. "The kestrel meant he could forget he was being filmed." Meara aims to make it into a full feature in time for Freud's 90th birthday in 2012.

Party!, New Art Gallery, Walsall

It is ten years since the New Art Gallery in Walsall opened its doors beside the Walsall Canal. (You can see a narrow boat drawn up beside the café's window as you bite down on a panini.) Would this splashy, handsome gallery help to give a new vitality to this small Black Country town? Could there be a mini-Bilbao effect in the making? Ten years on, things are looking pretty good – there were 6,000 visitors during half-term week; kids seem to be dragging their parents back for a second look – and it's evidently time for a show on the theme of non-stop partying.

A Freudian slip-up

As an exhibition in Paris aims to reconcile the French with Lucian Freud, Michael Glover wonders whether the curators may be laying their vision of the artist on a bit thick

More headlines

Sir Clement Freud: Sharp-witted and lugubrious broadcaster,

Although born in Germany, Sir Clement Freud came to be regarded as an essentially English character with an idiosyncratic gift for dry wit and a talent in many other spheres of life. In his multi-faceted career, he acquired the status of a minor national treasure as he progressed through roles which included celebrity cook, dog food advertiser, politician, broadcasting personality, author and raconteur. His unique persona included the incongruity of his looks, the rarity of his smiles and the counterpoints of his slow delivery and his devastatingly quick wit.

Freud's intimate portrait of his friend Bacon sold for £5.4m

A rarely seen oil portrait of the artist Francis Bacon, painted by his friend Lucian Freud, has been sold for £5.4m. The work, which offers an intimate glimpse into the collaborative friendship of two giants of post-war art, is one of only two oil portraits of Bacon painted by Freud and the last remaining: the second was stolen from an exhibition in Berlin in 1988.

Kate Moss: the muse

She has long been the supermodel of choice for fashion designers. But Marc Quinn is only the latest in an long line of contemporary artists who find inspiration in the icon who transcended Croydon. By Arifa Akbar