Ba­con’s Pope paint­ing to be sold 45 years af­ter last view­ing

Yorkshire Post - - NEWS -

A PAINT­ING val­ued at £60m by the renowned artist Fran­cis Ba­con will be seen in pub­lic for the first time in 45 years when it goes un­der the ham­mer next month.

Study of Red Pope 1962, 2nd

Ver­sion 1971 was the last in the artist’s fa­mous se­ries of pa­pal por­traits and is set to be the high­light of the sale at Christie’s on Oc­to­ber 6.

The paint­ing, which was first shown at the Grand Palais in Paris, has been in the hands of a pri­vate Euro­pean col­lec­tor since 1973 and de­spite the hefty price tag it is likely to be a much sought-af­ter lot.

For the paint­ing, Ba­con re­vis­ited Study of Red Pope

1962, adding an­other fig­ure – a re­flec­tion of his muse and part­ner Ge­orge Dyer. Sadly, Dyer took his own life two days be­fore Ba­con’s Paris ret­ro­spec­tive opened.

Fran­cis Outred, Christie’s head of post-war and con­tem­po­rary art, said: “It is a tragic pre­mo­ni­tion which unites Ba­con’s two great­est muses, the Pope and Ge­orge Dyer, for the first and only time.

“The can­vas be­came a tragic pre­mo­ni­tion of Dyer’s fate­ful end when, less than 36 hours be­fore the open­ing of the ca­reerdefin­ing ex­hi­bi­tion, Dyer was found dead.

“This paint­ing gives me a shiver down my spine and I am ex­tremely ex­cited to be shar­ing it with the pub­lic. It is quite sim­ply art his­tory.”

The record price paid for a Ba­con at auc­tion was £89m for a trip­tych de­pict­ing his friend and fel­low artist Lu­cian Freud, which was sold af­ter 10 min­utes of fran­tic bid­ding in 2013.

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