Three original Lithographs, in colours, 1972, on Arches paper, each
signed by the artist in pencil.
Literature: Bruno Sabatier: Francis Bacon: Oeuvre Graphique (Catalogue Raisonee) Number 23 ; Alexandre Tacou 24
Published by: Galerie Lelong, Paris, France
Size: 895 x 610 mms (Paper size), 655 x 485 mms (Image size)
Note: The Lithographs are after a Triptych of Oil Paintings owned by the Tate Gallery and purchased in 1980.
This work is generally considered one in a series of Black Triptychs relating to Bacons partner, George Dyer whose figure can be seen here, who committed suicide on 24 October 1971, the eve of the artist's retrospective at Paris’ Grand Palais, then the highest honour Bacon had received. Dyer is shown seated in Bacon’s atelier just as in the well known photographs by John Deakin. The central group is derived from a photograph of wrestlers by Edward Muybridge (1830 - 1904), but also suggests a more sexual encounter. The seated figures and their coupling are set against black voids and the central flurry has been seen as ‘a life-and death struggle’. The artist’s biographer wrote: ‘What death has not already consumed seeps incontinently out of the figures as their shadows’ . The black triptychs are so named because of their bleak mood and due to the active role the black paint plays in each.
Provenance: Galerie Lelong, The Publisher
Public Collections: University of Nottingham