In the Vanity Fair December 2012 issue, supermodel Kate Moss addressed the rumors spread about her throughout her 20 year career (drug use, the famous Johnny Depp hotel room fight) and revealed surprising information about her back tattoo.
The 38-year-old disclosed in her cover story that her tattoo of two flying birds, which has been snapped by paparazzi and fashion photographers over the years, was inked by one of the world's most famous artists.
Moss revealed it was inked by the late world famous German painter Lucien Freud. According to the U.K. Telegraph, it could be worth over $1 million.
She shared how the idea for the tattoo came up she met Freud in 2002.
"He told me about when he was in the Navy, when he was 19 or something, and he used to do all of the tattoos for the sailors. And I said, 'Oh my God, that's amazing,' " she told Vanity Fair. "And he went, 'I can do you one. What would you like? Would you like creatures of the animal kingdom?' "
Surprised she replied: "I said I liked birds and he replied, 'I've done birds.' And he pointed down at a painting of a chicken upside down in a bucket to which I replied, 'No, I'm not having that.' We decided to do a flock of birds."
Moss then told the interviewer that she assumed the tattoo could be very valuable, considering who drew it on her lower back.
"I mean, it's an original Freud. I wonder how much a collector would pay for that? A few million? If it all goes horribly wrong I could get a skin graft and sell it! It's probably the only one on skin that's still around," she said.
Moss met Freud after she told someone that she would like to meet the famous painter. After they met, Moss agreed to pose for him for a nude painting when she was pregnant with her daughter Lila Grace.
"I went to his house and he started [the nude painting] that night. Couldn't say no to Lucian. Very persuasive," Moss said. "I phoned Bella [his daughter] the next day and said, 'How long is it going to take?' She said 'How big is the canvas?' I said, 'it's quite big.' She said, 'Oh dear, could take six months to a year.' "
Moss told Vanity Fair that sitting for the painting ended up becoming a nine-month process. When it was complete, it went for £3.9 million at an auction in 2005.
Freud passed away at the age of 88 in 2011.