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In Memory of George Dyer, 1971, Francis Bacon

George Dyercommitted suicide on 24 October 1971, two days before the opening of Bacon's triumphant and career-making retrospective at the Grand Palais. Dyer, then 37, alcoholic, deeply insecure and suffering severe and long-term depression , took an overdose of drink and barbiturates in a room at the Paris hotel shared with Bacon during a brief period of reconciliation following years of bitter recrimination. Does the stairway lead up to the toilet where Dyer was found dead?

The three works, In Memory of George Dyer, Triptych-Agust 1972 and Triptych May-June 1973are grouped by critics because they share title, date, format, subject matter and a stark black background intended as emblematic of death and mourning.

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