Christie’s follows its record Francis Bacon sale with another important Bacon to be offered in London next month. Portrait of George Dyer Talking returns to the market after 14 years. The last time it was on the block it sold for a then-record price of $6.6m. Since then, the entire art market, but especially the Bacon market (beginning with Henry Kravis’s purchase of a screaming pope and through Damien Hirst’s purchase of an self-portrait,) has accelerated dramatically culminating with last November’s $142m sale.
Now Portrait of George Dyer Talking is on the market with an expected estimate of £30m or more:
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. It is expected to realize in the region of £30 million in February, and could set a record price for a single canvas by the artist.