Three Studies for George Dyer

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Three Studies for George Dyer
Three Studies for George Dyer.jpg
Artist Francis Bacon
Dimensions28 cm× 36 cm(11 in× 14 in)

Three Studies for George Dyer is a small-format triptych painted by Francis Bacon in 1964.

The work comprises three portraits of Bacon's lover George Dyer: from left to right, a three-quarter view, a right profile, and a face-on view. It was painted in the first half of 1964, within a year of Bacon first meeting Dyer in late 1963, and was based on photographs of Dyer taken by John Deakin. Bacon painted about 40 triptychs in this small format, with each portrait measuring 11 by 14 inches (28 cm × 36 cm). This is one of five of Dyer in the small format, the others completed in 1963, 1964 (on a pink ground), 1966 and 1969.

Unlike the four other small-format Dyer triptychs, one of which was painted on a pink ground and the others on a dark ground, this version was painted on a light yellowish ground. Bacon used heavy structural brushstrokes in a limited palette of red/orange, black, and white, with a touch of blue.

The painting was included in the Bacon retrospective held at the Grand Palais in Paris: Dyer committed suicide the evening before it opened in 1971. The triptych was held in a private collection from 1970 until it was sold at Sotheby's in London in June 2014 for £26.7m, including buyer's premium. [1] [2]

Sotheby's sold Francis Bacon's 1966 “Three Studies of George Dyer” for $38.6 million following a single telephone bid placed by a collector on 16 November 2017 [3]

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Francis Bacon (artist) Irish-born British figurative painter, 1909–1992

Francis Bacon was an Irish-born British figurative painter known for his emotionally charged raw imagery and fixation on personal motifs. Best known for his depictions of popes, crucifixions and portraits of close friends, his abstracted figures are typically isolated in geometrical cages which give them vague 3D depth, set against flat, nondescript backgrounds. Bacon said that he saw images "in series", and his work, which numbers c. 590 extant paintings along with many others he destroyed, typically focuses on a single subject for sustained periods, often in triptych or diptych formats. His output can be broadly described as sequences or variations on single motifs; including the 1930s Picasso-influenced bio-morphs and Furies, the 1940s male heads isolated in rooms or geometric structures, the 1950s screaming popes, the mid-to-late 1950s animals and lone figures, the early 1960s crucifixions, the mid-to-late 1960s portraits of friends, the 1970s self-portraits, and the cooler, more technical 1980s paintings.

Triptych three-part panel painting

A triptych is a work of art that is divided into three sections, or three carved panels that are hinged together and can be folded shut or displayed open. It is therefore a type of polyptych, the term for all multi-panel works. The middle panel is typically the largest and it is flanked by two smaller related works, although there are triptychs of equal-sized panels. The form can also be used for pendant jewelry.

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  1. "Francis Bacon triptych sells for £26.7m". BBC News. Retrieved 1 July 2014.
  2. "Bacon triptych sells for 'landmark' 26.7 million pounds in London". Reuters. Retrieved 1 July 2014.
  3. Crow, Kelly (17 November 2017). "Sotheby's Sells Yoko Ono's Basquiat, Warhol's 'Mao'" . Retrieved 17 November 2017 via