$50 Million Sought for Bacon Muse
A major portrait by Francis Bacon, offered at Christie's in their upcoming Post-War and Contemporary Art Evening Auction on 13 February 2014, may fetch over $50 million.
Art collectors of ArtKabinett social media network are excited about this masterpiece coming to auction on the heels of December's record smashing sale of $142 million for the Bacon triptych.
This painting depicts George Dyer and was executed in 1966, at the artist’s creative peak. George Dyer was Bacon's lover, muse and arguably his greatest influence.
Owned orivately, it has been widely celebrated since it was first shown in Paris in the year of its creation, and was also exhibited at the artist’s legendary first museum Retrospective at the Grand Palais in Paris in 1971.
Francis Outred, Head of Post-War and Contemporary Art, Christie’s Europe: “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."
Elaine Wynn, 71 of Las Vegas, and ex-wife of casino-mogul Steve Wynn, was revealed just yesterday as the triptych's high bidder.
Francis Bacon met George Dyer in Soho in the autumn of 1963 and went on to dominate the artist’s portraits of what was his greatest decade.
A handsome man from humble beginnings who took meticulous care over his appearance, Dyer wore a uniform of clean-cut suits and narrow ties tightly knotted around the neck.
Cast adrift and in need of protection, Dyer became Bacon’s lover, muse and dependent; a source of inspiration not only for his classical proportions and distinctive good looks (reminding Bacon of the lithe figure studies undertaken by Michelangelo), but as an emotional study with all his vulnerability and susceptibility.
Dyer was the subject of some of Bacon’s most arresting large-scale portraits, most of which now reside in museum collections.
Rendered against a regal palette of ruby red and luxuriant swathes of lilac, Portrait of George Dyer Talking reaches its climax with the figure, which appears almost incandescent and brimming with nervous energy.
His torso appears to undergo some extreme torsion while his head revolves, whipping around to the left and forcing open his jaw. It is an incisive, biting portrayal of a man, which goes beyond the possibilities of traditional painting.
Portrait of George Dyer Talking has been included in many of the most important exhibitions on the artist.
These include exhibitions at Galerie Maeght, Paris, in 1966-1967; Malborough Fine Art Ltd. in 1967 (the only time it has been seen in public in the United Kingdom); the Retrospective at the Grand Palace in 1971-1972; the Museo de Bellas Artes in Caracas in 1973; the Museo d’Arte Moderna in Lugano in 1993; and the artist’s Retrospective at Yale Center for British Art in New Haven in 1999.
It was last seen at auction at Christie’s New York in 2000 when it sold for $6.6 million – a record price for the artist at the time.