Veuve Clicquot for your pet rat

“Intensely shocking” is how Antonia Fraser describes Geordie Greig’s memoir of artist Lucian Freud called Breakfast with Lucian (FSG, New York, 2013). Lux was quite a slow worker and painted directly from life, not photographs. So how did he keep the rat well behaved in his classic portrait of interior decorator Raymond Jones “naked man with rat” (below)? Positioned, as it is, in a ticklish location.

ratman 615x633 Veuve Clicquot for your pet rat

The shock comes to learn that Lux used Veuve Clicquot champagne. “The rat was usually drunk. Every day it was given Veuve Clicquot in a dog bowl, with half a crushed sleeping pill.” The marketing possibilities for Veuve are endless.