FRANCIS BACON "Portrait of George Dyer Riding a Bicycle" Heni productions, COA


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"Portrait of George Dyer Riding a Bicycle"
Limited Edition Giclée Print Mounted on Aluminium

Artist: Francis Bacon
Title: Portrait of George Dyer Riding a Bicycle, 1966
Year: 2015
Medium: Giclée Print Mounted on Aluminium
Edition: Limited Edition, 467/500
Publisher: The Estate of Francis Bacon and HENI Productions
Signed: Facsimile Signed COA Verso
Condition: Excellent
Accompanied by a Gallery Certificate of Authenticity also Original HENI COA on Verso
Newly framed

Size Framed: 50 x 39 inch
Size Artwork: 43 1/3 x 32 1/3 inch (110 x 82 cm)

Artwork will be shipped crated and insured with UPS


Francis Bacon's ill-fated relationship with his lover George Dyer, who died of a drug overdose in 1971, materialised in a series of powerfully imaginative portraits. In the following decades Bacon painted his likeness with a fervour that bordered on obsession, culminating in the famed painting "portrait of George Dyer Riding a Bicycle", produced in 1966 and turned into a series of giclée prints by HENI in 2015. This artwork confronts, exorcises and commemorates Dyer's death, with some critics considering it the pinnacle of Bacon's career.

In this portrait, Dyer's distorted features seem to dissolve within the flat background rendered in a grim colour palette of dull shades of brown. Bacon represents Dyer as surrounded by a broad shadow, which seems to assume the formless shape of a ghostlike mass of flesh. Bacon's mourning emerges through fluctuations of darkness and light, which manifest his guilt when confronted with the tragedy of death.

Dyer's portrait is haunted by the awareness of loss and speaks to us about the passage of time and the permanence of death. Bacon himself admitted that this artwork constituted an attempt to exorcise his loss, but, he stated, time did not heal his wounds. His obsession remained unresolved.


Francis Bacon was one of the most powerful and original figure painters in the twentieth century. He was particularly noted for the obsessive intensity of his work.

Bacon was born in Dublin, Ireland, on October 28, 1909, to English parents. Raised with three siblings, Francis Bacon is a descendant of the sixteenth-century statesman and essayist of the same name. He left home at the age of sixteen and spent two years in Berlin, Germany, and Paris, France where he saw an art exhibit by the painter Pablo Picasso (1881-1973). Though he had never taken an art class, Bacon began painting with watercolors. He then settled in London, England, with the intention of establishing himself as an interior decorator and furniture designer. However, he soon turned to painting exclusively.

Bacon began oil painting in 1929. The few early paintings that survive (he destroyed most of them) show that he began as a late Cubist. By 1932 he turned to a form of Surrealism based partly on Pablo Picasso's works from about 1925 to 1928. Bacon began to draw attention in 1933 with his work Crucifixion, and the same year he took part in exhibitions in London.

Bacon exhibited very rarely until 1945. It was only after World War II that his paintings became known outside his immediate circle of friends. At this time he also began to paint the human figure. The pictures that made his reputation are of such subjects as a melting head in front of a curtain and a screaming figure crouching under an umbrella. These extremely original works are impressive not only as powerful expressions of emotion, but also for the magnificence of their presentation and professional quality.

By the early 1950s Bacon had developed a more direct treatment of the human figure, working almost always from photographs rather than from real life. Images taken from newspaper clippings or from the photographs of humans and animals by the nineteenth-century photographer Eadweard Muybridge were sometimes combined with images from the well-recognized paintings of the Old Masters. For instance, a series of paintings inspired by the portrait of Pope Innocent X by the Spanish painter Diego Velázquez (1599-1660) also uses a screaming face and eyeglasses that came from a close-up of a wounded nurse in Sergei Eisenstein's film The Battleship Potemkin. Such a combination of images drawn from completely unrelated sources is characteristic of Bacon's work.

From the 1950s through the end of Bacon's painting career and life in the early 1990s, the consistent theme of his work was the isolation and pain of the individual, with a single figure (usually male) seated or standing in a small, windowless interior, as if confined in a private hell. His subjects were artists, friends, lovers and even himself. His painting technique consisted of using rags, his hands, and dust along with paint and brush.

Bacon consistently denied that his paintings were used to explain his own life. The facts of his life, however, have tempted art critics and historians to draw links between his personal life and the subject matter of his paintings. One of the great tragedies of his life was the death of his longtime lover George Dyer, who apparently killed himself. Dyer's death occurred just before the opening of Bacon's major 1971 retrospective in Paris, France. Bacon's famous and moving Triptych (1973) was a three-paneled work of his dying friend hunched over a toilet, shadowed in a door frame and vomiting into a sink.

In a period dominated by abstract art, Bacon stood out as one of the few great representatives of the figure-painting tradition. During the last decade of his life major retrospective exhibitions were mounted at such sites as the Marlborough Gallery in New York City in 1984, Moscow in 1989 and the Museum of Modern Art in New York City in 1990.

Bacon died of heart failure in Madrid, Spain, on April 28, 1992.

On May 14, 2008, the Bacon painting Triptych, 1976 sold at Sotheby's contemporary art sale for $86.28 million, a record for the artist at auction. The painting was bought by the Russian billionaire Roman Abramovich. The sale broke the 2007 record for his work of $52.68 million.

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