Sotheby’s gets a jump on the London Contemporary art sales this Summer announcing two Francis Bacon works not seen since their purchase.:
Self-Portrait (1975) was painted at the height of Bacon’s career, after the suicide of his lover George Dyer in 1971.
The triptych Three Studies for a Self-Portrait (1980) shows the artist, who was in his 70s and becoming increasingly haunted by the inevitability of death, with his eyes downcast.
Oliver Barker, Sotheby’s senior international specialist in contemporary art, described the find as “a pretty extraordinary collecting moment”.
“[Art dealer] Marlborough Fine Art kept a photographic archive and so both of these paintings appeared in a book on Bacon’s self-portraits but, apart from being reproduced in books, they’ve not been seen,” he said. “We knew of the existence of the paintings but simply had no idea where they could be.”
Francis Bacon self-portraits expected to fetch £30m (The Guardian)