Lucian Freud was one of the 11th Duke of Devonshire's first guests to stay at Chatsworth when he visited in the autumn of 1959.

During this visit, Freud began a painting of a cyclamen plant on a wall in one of the private bathrooms. The idea was to cover the walls with cyclamen, but as Freud was relatively slow in his painting, he had to leave after only three flowers, three buds and a few leaves were complete.

In 2000, a box containing paints and artists' tools was discovered on a high shelf in a cupboard at Chatsworth. On the side of the box is written:
'Mr Freud: please do not remove from here'.

It is thought that the box was left behind by the artist, with the intention of returning to complete the painting.

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