When Frank Auerbach arrived in England he was just 7 years old. In 1939 his parents, who died in the Auschwitz concentration camp three years later, took him on board from Hamburg to the British coast to save his life. He was a small refugee who was saved thanks to the humanitarian initiative in which the United Kingdom welcomed almost ten thousand unaccompanied children, mainly Jews from Nazi Germany and the territories occupied on the eve of the Second World War. Auerbach grew up in Kent and used that great suffering he endured as a boy to express his extraordinary art. During his early years as a young artist in post-war London, Frank Auerbach produced one of his most notable works: a series of large, strikingly beautiful charcoal portraits of heads. Each drawing was the fruit of months and months of work in which the young artist worked and reworked these portraits during numerous sessions with his models in a prolonged and vigorous process of creation which is evident in the finished works that we can admire today in their structure and stratification and which makes Auerbach's heads capable of emerging alive and vital from the darkness of the charcoal. This exhibition at The Courtauld Gallery - supported by the Huo Family Foundation and the Garcia Family Foundation - is a unique opportunity to see these 1950s and 1960s portraits of one of Britain's greatest contemporary artists brought together as a complete group for the first time in London.