Francis Bacon Muse Portrait Could Fetch £30m
A portrait of Francis Bacon's muse and lover could set a record auction price for a single canvas by the artist, with estimates reaching £30m.
The work features George Dyer, who died of an overdose in Paris two days before the painting was displayed at Bacon's first major retrospective at the Grand Palais in 1971.
It is the first time in a decade such a work has come up for auction and it will be sold at Christie's in London.
The almost two metre-tall canvas, called Portrait of George Dyer Talking, was last sold at Christie's New York in 2000 when it went for £4m - a record for Bacon at the time.
His prices have soared since then and in November a new world record was set for a Bacon artwork at auction when a triptych depicting Lucian Freud sold for £89m.
The artist met his lover in 1963 and he became the subject of many of his most celebrated works, including the portrait to be sold on February 13 which he created in 1966.
It is described by Christie's as the most significant large-scale portrait of Dyer to be offered at auction in over 10 years.
The painting - which has been seen in the UK only once, at Marlborough Fine Art in 1967 - will be exhibited in London before the sale.
Many of Bacon's depictions of Dyer are part of museum and gallery collections.
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