Head of JYM III

© the artist. Image credit: British Council Collection

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"To paint the same head over and over leads to unfamiliarity; eventually you get near the raw truth about it, just as people only blurt out the raw truth in the middle of a family quarrel." Julia Yardley Mills is unusual amongst Frank Auerbach’s models in that she is a professional. She began sitting for him at Sidcup Art College in the 1950s, and, over weekly sittings up until 1997, maintained a consistently stately bearing – head raised to look upwards out of the canvas – that tended to lead Auerbach to respond, as here, by rendering the hollow of her left eyesocket with two decisive strokes that produced a left-facing chevron. Another product of this working relationship was the pair becoming “real friends” and devising the nicknames “Frankie” and “Jimmie”.

British Council Collection



Head of JYM III




oil on board


H 71.1 x W 61 cm

Accession number


Acquisition method

purchased from Marlborough Fine Art, 1985

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British Council Collection

British Council, 1 Redman Place, London, Greater London E20 1JQ England

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