A Bacon triptych sold last year set an auction record of $142
The "Portrait of George Dyer Talking" from 1966 is one of the
most famous images of Bacon's lover and was exhibited at his
Retrospective at the Grand Palais in Paris in 1971, a Christie's
The Irish-born Bacon met Dyer in London's Soho district in 1963,
drawn to him by his fragility and need for protection. An
anxious, constant smoker and problematic drinker, Dyer went on
to dominate Bacon portraits for the rest of the decade.
Dyer committed suicide in 1971.
The portrait will be offered at the Post-War and Contemporary
Art Evening Auction on February 13 in London.
"Francis Bacon's position at the forefront of 20th century
painting was highlighted at Christie's in November when his
triptych of Lucian Freud sold for $142 million and became the
most valuable work of art sold at auction," said Francis Outred,
head of post-war and contemporary art at Christie's.
"It is exciting to be able to follow this success by offering
this tour-de-force portrait of George Dyer which presents a
powerful portrait of arguably one of Bacon's greatest loves."
Dyer is shown sitting at the center of a revolving room against
a backdrop of "ruby red and luxuriant swathes of lilac", while
his body "appears to unravel like cotton from a spinning bob",
the Christie's statement said.
The tumultuous relationship between Dyer and Bacon was the
subject of the 1998 BBC film "Love Is the Devil: Study for a
Portrait of Francis Bacon", starring Derek Jacobi and Daniel
The "Portrait of George Dyer Talking" was last auctioned at
Christie's in New York in 2000, raising $6.6 million, a record
prize for Bacon at the time.
Bacon, famed for his graphically abstract and emotionally raw
paintings, existentialist views and hard-drinking, bon vivant
lifestyle, died in 1992 at the age of 82.
(Editing by Michael Roddy, Mark
[© 2014 Thomson Reuters. All rights
Copyright 2014 Reuters. All rights reserved. This material may not be published,
broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.