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Julia asleep, etching by Frank Auerbach, 2001

The Fitzwilliam Museum has a complete collection of Frank Auerbach's prints, initiated in 1994 with the gift of two etchings from Ruth and Joseph Bromberg in memory of their son Michael. The collection was then transformed by the extraordinary donation from James Kirkman of the remainder of the artist's prints to date (together with two sketchbooks). The Fitzwilliam has been able to keep the collection up to date into the twenty-first century entirely due to the artist himself, who has donated an impression of each new print on completion.

Auerbach's wife, Julia, was the main subject of study in Auerbach's etchings in the years 1998-2001, when she was usually drawn in the reclining pose that she adopted to save getting too tired.