Francis Bacon triptych of his lover George Dyer sells for £26.7m

A small scale Francis Bacon triptych has sold for £26.7m at an auction in London.

The triptych, a format Bacon frequently used, depicts his lover George Dyer and is believed to be based on photographs taken by Bacon’s friend John Deakin, the BBC reports.

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Image courtesy of Sotheby’s

Bacon painted Dyer several times, but the painting is one of just five known triptychs of Dyer done on a small scale. The sale at Sotheby’s broke the previous record for a small scale Bacon work.

Bacon and Dyer met when Dyer broke into Bacon’s house, apparently intending to burgle him. After their extraordinary meeting, the pair became close friends and began a relationship. But the relationship ended tragically. After a split, Dyer committed suicide on the opening night of Bacon’s largest and most significant exhibition, at the Grand Palais in Paris in 1971, after being invited by Bacon.

Following Dyer’s death, Bacon’s paintings increasingly centred around death, and he painted several more pictures of Dyer, including his acclaimed Black Triptychs.

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