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Study for Head of George Dyer

Francis Bacon

Study for Head of George Dyer

Francis Bacon
  • Date: 1967
  • Style: Expressionism
  • Theme: George Dyer
  • Genre: sketch and study
  • Dimensions: 35.5 x 30.5 cm

Created at the height of their love affair, this painting was of Bacon’s close companion and lover, George Dyer, who modeled for many of Bacon’s paintings, becoming a dominating presence in many of them. They had a tumultuous relationship at best. As Dyer began drinking more heavily, their relationship deteriorated to the point that all Bacon did was support Dyer’s drinking habits. He began to be a nuisance for bacon and his artist friends, and Bacon began painting him less and less. Dyer, feeling the sting of rejection, attempted to get Bacon’s attention by attempting suicide a number of times, and once planting cannabis in Bacon’s apartment and calling the police. In October 1971, the night before Bacon’s exhibition at the Grand Palais in Paris, Dyer overdosed on barbiturates, killing himself. Although the loss affected him deeply, Bacon remained stoic throughout the exhibition and the ensuing media frenzy and funeral. Dyer’s death had a prevailing influence on Bacon’s later works, which were haunted by death and despair.

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