E.O.W. (Stella West) was the subject of virtually all Auerbach's figure paintings from the late 1940s until the early 1970s. They met in 1948 and soon became lovers, two hour sittings taking place regularly three nights a week by the early 1950s. She remembers that 'the sittings became harder and harder, more demanding ... Frank didn't want me to walk around; he didn't want me to even look, although I did sometimes. Mostly I looked at a spot on the wall, and he used to paint with the canvas propped on a wooden kitchen chair, because he had no easel in my place. Everything was all dripping with paint .. the chair became more and more encrusted with paint, like a stalactite'.
(R. Hughes, op. cit., p.134).