Francis Bacon - Portrait of Peter Beard


Original Etching & Aquatint, in colours, 1976, on Arches watermarked paper, signed by the artist in pencil. This is half of the page of the frontispiece of the book “Le Mysticite Charnelle de Rene Crevel which is folded over to allow framing.

Edition: /100. There were also 45 examples on chaffers roman paper, with Roman numbering, and 10 artists proofs

Literature: Bruno Sabatier: Francis Bacon: Oeuvre Graphique (Catalogue Raisonee) Number 1, Page 34. This work is also illustrated on the front cover of the Catalogue.x

Alexandre Tacou “Francis Bacon Estampes” Number 33

Size: Plate size: 265 x 226 cm. Sheet size: 380 x 280 mms

Published by: Georges Visat, Paris.

Printed by : Les Editions Georges Visat et Cie, Paris

Note:  This item was the frontispiece of the book “Le mysticite charnelite de Rene Crevet” which was published in 1976 by Editions Georges Visat et Cie, Paris. It was Bacon’s first commercially produced etching. The book contained 14 etchings, 10 printed in colours, by a number of prominent artists which consisted of : Francis Bacon, Camille Bryen, Jorge Camacho, Robert Couturier, Sonia Delaunay, Max Ernst, Man Ray, André Masson, Sebastian Matta, Henry Moore (C.377), Arpad Szenes, Dorothea Tanning, Vladimir Vélickovic, Viera da Silva.

The model for this graphic is the centre part of the tryptych "Three studies for portrait of Peter Beard" from 1975.

Bacon first met the American artist, photographer, diarist and writer, Peter Beard (born 1938) at the Clermont Club in London in 1965. The occasion was the launch of Beard’s book on wildlife in Africa, The End of the Game, which documented the massive die-off of over 35,000 elephants in Tsavo National Park from the destructive impact of overcrowding, a theme Beard revisits often in his artistic work. Beard’s images impressed Bacon who particularly admired his aerial photographs of dead elephants. They became friends and Bacon painted nine major portraits of Beard. From their first meeting in 1965, Bacon and Beard appear to have developed a close friendship. Beards comment on Bacon is revealing: 'I had my best times with Fran, the drunker he got, the more sense he made.'

Condition: In good condition.