On the recent passing of Muriel Belcher
However Fallible spotted a fascinating article in last friday's edition of the New York Times, where Geoffrey Wheatcroft pays tribute to Muriel Belcher, proprietor of London's infamous Colony Room. Belcher's drinking house became a popular underground haunt for 'writers, hustlers, shady politicians, decayed aristocrats and petty criminals' in the 1960s and '70s. Most notably, the bar was also a favourite of painters Francis Bacon and Lucien Freud:
'Although Bacon was already making his name, he needed pocket money, and Muriel paid him to bring in rich patrons. If the word isn’t too far-fetched, she became his muse, while he became one of Muriel’s “daughters.” Most men were “she” to Muriel; it could be disconcerting when some elderly major was introduced with the words, “She was a very gallant little lady on the Somme.”'