Seated Person


Dyer quickly grated on Bacon's art-world friends, who were by then his only friends, but for whom he had lost whatever charm he had begun with—not much, they believed. Bacon tired of the routine of carrying Dyer emotionally and often physically home. Dyer planted cannabis in Bacon's Meuse and rang the police after one occasion. After a later attempt during a visit to New York when Bacon tried to end the relationship, Dyer threatened to jump from a skyscraper, and police again became involved.

Once again George Dyer appears under a seated person, who is under a black umbrella. Bacon himself?

In 1938, Neville Chamberlain, the dark-suited British Prime Minister who never left home without his umbrella, returned from negotiations with Hitler naïvely waving the 'Anglo-German Peace Declaration' and announcing "peace for our time." The agreement was not worth the paper it was written on as Hitler violated the treaty, and war was declared within a year. Bacon uses the relationship between the man and his umbrella, like the symbolic attributes of saints in Medieval art, to recall the anxious prelude to war and the terrors that entailed. He takes further advantage of this 'accidental' metaphor to amplify the sense of threat by using an open umbrella indoors - a traditional omen of bad luck.

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