5

Francis  Bacon,  Study for human body, 1981

Lithograph. height - 34.6 in, width - 25.9 in, depth - 0 in. signed, bottom right in margin and marked 106/250 bottom left. Work is framed under Plexiglas. Estimate: from $12,000 to $15,000

Francis Bacon, born in 1909, was an Irish figurative painter known for his bold, austere, homoerotic and often violent or nightmarish imagery. Bacon typically paints isolated masculine figures set against flat nondescript backgrounds. Bacon drew on such sources as Velazquez’s Portrait of Pope Innocent X and Vincent Van Gogh’s The Painter on the Road to Tarascon. His later work of the 1950’s often included images of either friends or lovers, people found in movie stills, reproductions of historic paintings and medical photos. Often, Bacon painted his subjects in the midst of a scream, as if in physical and psychic pain, found seemingly tourtured in bedrooms, bathrooms and cages. He uses an expressionist style with distorted human and animal forms that reflect the influence of Surrealism. A major retrospective of Bacon's work opened on September 11, 2008 at Tate Britain, London, England. The largest retrospective of his work ever mounted, containing around sixty of his works, the exhibition has traveled to the Prado Gallery in Madrid, Spain, and is now currently being held at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York where it will end this summer, 2009. Bacon's Triptych 1976 holds the record for the highest price ever paid for a post-war work of art at auction. It sold at Sotheby’s, May 2008, for $86m to Roman Abramovich.

Artnet Auctions. Wednesday, July 08, 2009, 1:00 PM EST. www.artnet.com