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  • Posts Tagged ‘George Dyer’

    BACON POPE WITH DYER’S REFLECTION AT CHRISTIE’S

    Friday, September 15th, 2017

    Francis Bacon, Study of Red Pope 1962. 2nd Version 1971

    Francis Bacon’s landmark painting Study of Red Pope 1962, 2nd version 1971,  will come up at Christie’s Post War and Contemporary Art evening sale on October 6 during Frieze Week.  It stands as the grand finale to his celebrated body of Papal portraits and is the only painting that unites the Pope with his greatest love George Dyer, who is depicted as the Pope’s reflection.

    First exhibited on 26 October 1971, in the legendary retrospective of Francis Bacon’s work at the Grand Palais in Paris, Study of Red Pope 1962,  2nd version 1971 was executed six months earlier in April 1971. It has been unseen in public for 45 years.  This is the first and only time in his oeuvre that Bacon united his two greatest obsessions: the Pope and George Dyer – his great muse and lover.

    The canvas became a tragic premonition of Dyer’s fateful end when, less than thirty-six hours before the opening of the career-defining exhibition, Dyer was found dead. Acquired by the family of the present owner in 1973 this work has appeared in all the major publications dedicated to Bacon’s work but never exhibited publicly.