Monday 19 February 2018

Rare Francis Bacon triptych sells for €33.2m

Three Studies for a Portrait of George Dyer
Three Studies for a Portrait of George Dyer

A rare triptych of Irish-born Francis Bacon's muse and lover George Dyer has sold for a landmark €33.2m.

The triptych entitled 'Three Studies for portrait of George Dyer', attracted major attention when it was offered up as part of Sotheby's evening sale of contemporary art in London.

Sotheby’s described it as a “new record for a small scale triptych by the artist”. The hammer fell at a landmark STG£26,682,500 (€33.2m)

The last record for small-scale triptych by Bacon is €28m for a 1964 portrait of Lucien Fraud.

The three pieces have rarely been seen in public.

Dyer and Bacon became romantically involved after Bacon caught the East End petty criminal breaking into his South Kensington mews in the middle of the night.

Dyer battled with paranoia and addiction and tragically died from an overdose in Paris in 1971 – just hours before the opening of a major retrospective of Bacon's work at the Grand Palais.

Some 129 photographs of Dyer were found in the studio of Bacon after his death. Vistors to the Hugh Lane Gallery in Dublin can see a reconstruction of Bacon’s studio which was donated to the gallery.

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