Francis Bacon's George Dyer painting sells for £26.7m at London auction
The sale has broken the previous record for a small-format Bacon triptych
The figurative painter’s 1967 artwork is believed to be based on photos taken by his friend John Deakin.
Presented in three frames, “Three Studies for Portrait of George Dyer” is one of just five triptychs of Dyer known to exist in the small-format, and had never before appeared at auction.
The painting, which has remained in the same private collection since 1970, shows Dyer dressed in a camel jumper set against a beige background, his face distorted.
It was created at the height of their affair and exhibited in Bacon’s 1971 retrospective at Paris’ Grand Palais.
Dyer tragically killed himself on the night of the important exhibition, which haunted Bacon for years afterwards. He continued to paint Dyer, who features in his famous Black Triptychs.
Sotheby’s has confirmed that last night’s sale beat Bacon’s previous £23m record for a work in the same format.
“The driving force tonight was passion,” said Sotheby’s Cheyenne Westphal. “The Bacon was bought by collectors who truly wanted to own it. It was a completely private market that came from virtually every side of the world and people wanted to own this wonderful piece and live with it.”
Four telephone bidders battled for the painting with Helena Newman, chairwoman of Sotheby’s Impressionist and Modern Art department in Europe, winning.
Bacon’s large-scale triptych, “Three Studies of Lucien Freud”, sold for $142m at Christie’s last November to set the record for the most expensive artwork ever sold at auction.
GlastonburyWI to make debut appearance at Somerset festival
TV reviewIt has taken seven episodes for Game of Thrones season five to hit its stride
FilmPalme d'Or goes to radical and astonishing film that turns conventional thinking about immigrants on its head
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 Man on naked bike ride gets ejected after becoming aroused
- 2 Caitlyn Jenner's mother Ester thought her daughter, formerly known as Bruce Jenner, had transitioned for money
- 3 Charles Kennedy 1959-2015: A gifted, compassionate politician whose career was cut short by the 'demon drink' - latest news
- 4 Ann Summers survey reveals the UK's favourite sex position
- 5 Ayyan Ali: Pakistan's top model now appears in the courtroom rather than on the catwalk
The 1975 leave social-media after cryptic comic strip tweet hinting at possible break up
Britain's Got Talent producers apologise for not making Matisse dog double stunt 'clearer'
Britain's Got Talent 2015 final: Jules and Matisse used secret dog double for winning tightrope act
Netflix is testing out adverts
Game of Thrones season 5 episode 9: 'The Dance of Dragons' sees Jon Snow return to The Wall after epic Battle of Hardhome
Thousands of teenage girls enduring debilitating illnesses after routine school cancer vaccination
Migrants in Kos: Photos show real tragedy after Brits abroad complain of 'awkward' holidays
British tourists complain that impoverished boat migrants are making holidays 'awkward' in Kos
Michael Gove determined to scrap the Human Rights Act – even if Scotland retains it
Threat to scrap Human Rights Act could see UK follow Nazi example, warns UN official
Why this year's general election was the most unfair in Britain's history